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UK Books Received- 02/2008  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

Gollancz

Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner: The Making of by Paul M. Sammon (Gollancz 13 December 2007 / £16.99) - This one got held up in the Christmas post, but is worth waiting for nevertheless.

It's twenty five years since Ridley Scott's Blade Runner first came out, the film adaptation of Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the movie has gone on to gather iconic status. To celebrate this silver jubilee, Gollancz release a revised and updated hard cover edition of Paul Sammon's Future Noir, a books which examines every aspect of the making of this seminal film.

The Margarets (Gollancz S.F.) by Sheri S. Tepper (Gollancz 17 January 2008 / £12.99) - "Earth is in crisis, virtually destroyed by overpopulation, and mankind is teethering on the edge. ISTO - the Interstellar Trade Organization - had demanded man's extinction, for a living planet is more important than any race upon it, and was about to start 'reducing' mankind when Earthgov agreed its demands, to sell 90 per cent of Earth's inhabitants into bondage to alien races. When Margaret is six, she imagines herself as a spy, a healer, a queen, a warrior, even a boy, to amuse herself; when she is nine, and 12, and 20, at crisis points in her life, she feels like parts of her have split off - like the Margaret who decided to follow her lover to Tercis and the Margaret who said no. So now, as well as Margaret, she is Wilvia, learning to be a queen on B'yurngrad, and Ongamar, a spy on Cantardene, and Gretamara, a healer on Chottem, and even Naumi, a boy on Thairy, and she is many other Margarets besides. And all these Margarets hold the key to mankind's survival, if only they can survive and come together again as one Margaret, with all their different powers intact ..."

The Red Wolf Conspiracy: The Chathrand Voyage Book One by Robert V.S. Redick (Gollancz 21 February 2008 / 12.99) - Following their successes of recent years (Scott Lynch, Joe Abercombie, etc.), Gollancz continue to blaze a trail in bringing us the very best in new fantasy. The latest addition to their stable of outrageously talented authors is Robert V.S. Redick, whose novel The Red Wolf Conspiracy -- a richly drawn, highly original and superbly executed fantasy -- is released this month. Definitely my pick of the month. (see review)

HarperVoyager

The Spirit Stone (Deverry Cycle Pt 3 Dragonmage5) by Katharine Kerr (HarperVoyager 04 February 2008 / £7.99) - The latest title in Katherine Kerr's best-selling and ongoing fantasy sequence known as The Deverry Series. This latest instalment, The Spirit Stone, is the fifth book of The Dragon Mage and is released here in mass market paperback from HarperCollins Voyager.

"The penultimate instalment in Katharine Kerr's best selling fantasy series. 'A dagger laid against our throat.' So Prince Dar of the Westlands calls Zakh Gral, a new fortress built by the Horsekin, the ancient enemies of his people. To help him destroy this threat, the elven prince has called upon his allies: the dwarven folk of the northern mountains and the human men of Deverry to the east. Their leaders know that if the Westlands fall to the Horsekin, their own throats will feel that dagger next. Joining them are two powerful dragons, who have their own bitter reasons to hate the Horsekin. But the fanatical Horsekin believe that they have the most powerful ally of all: a new goddess. Alshandra's priestesses have announced that she has given the Horsekin the lands belonging to the prince -- and that his people must be utterly destroyed. Rooted in Celtic mythology and intricately interweaving human and elven history over several hundred years, Katharine Kerr's dazzling saga tells of ancient enmities and undying friendships experienced through many lives. Epic fantasy on a truly grand scale."

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

The Reapers by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 15 May 2008 / £14.99) - Uncorrected Proof : A new novel from best-selling author John Connolly featuring his private detective Charlie Parker, due from Hodder & Stoughton in May.

"They are the Reapers, the elite among killers. Men so terrifying that their names are mentioned only in whispers. The assassin Louis is one of them. But now Louis, and his partner, Angel, are themselves targets. And there is no shortage of suspects. A wealthy recluse sends them north to a town that no longer exists on a map. A town ruled by a man with very personal reasons for wanting Louis's blood spilt. There they find themselves trapped, isolated, and at the mercy of a killer feared above all others: the assassin of assassins, Bliss. Thanks to former detective Charlie Parker, help is on its way. But can Angel and Louis stay alive long enough for it to reach them?"

Hodder Paperback

Blaze by Richard Bachman (Hodder Paperback 21 February 2008 / £6.99) - Sure to have all Stephen King fans licking their lips in anticipation, Blaze was the last novel King wrote under his Richard Bachman pen name, but until it turned up in his papers at the University of Maine, it was thought irretrievably lost. Written thirty-four years ago, but never published, Blaze finally arrives in bookstores complete a with a forward by King - a little late, but very welcome nonetheless.

This is the mass market paperback release from Hodder.

Settling Accounts: In at the Death (Great War) by Harry Turtledove (Hodder Paperback 24 January 2008 / £7.99) - The climactic final episode fans have been waiting for, from the world's most authoritative voice in alternate history thrillers.

"Victory seems assured as the United States of America drive deep into Confederate States territory, uncovering shocking death camps as they go. But both sides in this war have been working on unimaginably powerful new weapons. Can a new kind of bomb save the Confederate States from defeat at the eleventh hour?"

Orbit

Barking by Tom Holt (Orbit 07 February 2008 / £7.99) - Monsters are roaming the streets of London. Of course, some monsters are scarier than others: Unicorns? No bother. Vampires? Big deal. Werewolves? Ho hum. Lawyers? ...Aaargh! Duncan's boss doesn't think that he's cut out to be a lawyer. He isn't a pack animal. He lacks the killer instinct. But when his best friend from school barges his way back into Duncan's life, with a full supporting cast of lawyers, ex-wives, zombies and snow-white unicorns, it's not long before things become distinctly unsettling. Hairy, even.

Biting the Bullet by Jennifer Rardin (Orbit 07 February 2008 / £6.99) - The third in Jennifer Rardin's Jaz Parks adventures... "packed with action, tension and vampires". A paperback original published by Orbit.

"The Raptor, the CIA's longtime nemesis, is back. Jaz Parks and her vampire boss Vayl are asked to join her brother David's special ops team to take him down. But when her spirit guide tells her that she's being lead to the wrong man, and she starts asking the wrong questions, her life — and her job– are threatened. And the one person who can help her–her boss– is off on a wild goose chase. Add to the mix a pack of reavers bent on revenge along with a small army of desert monsters, and Biting The Bullet will take you so close to the edge of your seat you may want to leave a pillow on the floor just in case."

Feast of Souls (Magister Trilogy) by Celia Friedman (Orbit 07 February 2008 / £7.99) - The UK mass market edition of the first novel in Celia Friedman's newest fantasy series. Previously reviewed here on SFRevu in our January '07 issue.

"In the High Kingdom of Danton Aurelius, magisters from across the known world are gathering for an unusual meeting. The High King's son is dying of an apparently incurable wasting disease, and he has charged them with providing an explanation and a cure. There is a mystery here, but not the one the High King thinks: the magisters know the cause of the prince's illness but they dare not reveal it for fear that it will expose the secret at the heart of their order. No, the mystery is not what is responsible, but who...Now the magisters must embark upon a manhunt, racing against time, before the High King learns the truth. But they have not counted on the young prince's determination to control his own fate, nor on the existence of Kamala, a young woman schooled in their own arts, who will soon shake the world to its very roots"

Half the Blood of Brooklyn (Joe Pitt Novel) by Charlie Huston (Orbit 07 February 2008 / £6.99) - The third (and most recent) in Charlie Huston's excellent Joe Pitt sequence, telling of a Manhattan inhabited by vampire clans at war with each other. These gritty stories are written with all the pith and punch one would expect from Huston who career as a crime novelist has served this crossover into genre very well indeed. Check out my review of the first Joe Pitt novel Already Dead and Gayle's review of the follow up No Dominion.

Half the Blood of Brooklyn is an trade paperback release from Orbit.

Halting State by Charles Stross (Orbit 24 January 2008 / £10.99) - The latest novel from the prolific and hugely talented Charles Stross is his riff on the online gaming world - and is written in the second person, a difficult feat that Stross pulls off with almost nonchalant ease. Halting State will go on to feature on many of this years best books lists, I am sure. Previously published in the US by Tor, this UK edition is a large format trade paperback issued by Orbit.

"As keeling observant of our emergent society as it is of our emergent technologies, Halting State is one extremely smart species of fun." -- William Gibson.

Matter by Iain M. Banks (Orbit 07 February 2008 / £18.99) - The first Culture from Banks in seven years! A major international hardcover release from Orbit. Reviewed this issue.

"In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one -- maybe two -- people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever. Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity -- and her particular set of abilities -- might be a dangerous strategy. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter." (see review)

The Serrano Succession: Omnibus Three by Elizabeth Moon (Orbit 07 February 2008 / 10.99) - The third of Orbit's Elizabeth Moon omnibuses contains the final two novels in her Serrano Legacy , Change of Command and Against the Odds.

Fantastic value for money.

Prometheus Books

Starship: Mercenary by Mike Resnick (Prometheus Books 24 December 2007 / 12.68) - Pyr publish the third in Mike Resnick's Starship series. Starship : Mercenary is a smart hard cover release.

"Just the kind of easygoing and abashedly old-school space opera romp for which we've come to know and love [Resnick]... whip-smart, fast-paced pure entertainment... simply pure escapism, impossible to resist for anyone who still remembers that good old-fashioned sense of wonder." -- SF Reviews

Solaris

The Dragon's Nine Sons: A Novel of the Celestial Empire by Chris Roberson (Solaris 04 February 2008 / £10.99) - The new novel from the supremely talented Chris Roberson, a young writer whose work I admire very much indeed -- see my reviews of Paragea and Set the Seas on Fire. This new novel, The Dragon's Nine Son's, "marks the start of the epic Celestial Empire sequence, one of the most original and exciting series in modern science fiction." Check out the Solaris web site for more on this and do take a look at Roberson's excellent and informative web site.

"A disgraced naval captain and a commando who knows secrets he should never have learned are picked to lead a suicide mission, piloting a salvaged Mexica spacecraft to Xolotl, the asteroid stronghold of their enemies, armed with enough explosives to reduce the Mexica base to dust. But when they arrive to find dozens of Chinese prisoners destined to be used as human sacrifices, their suicide mission suddenly becomes a rescue operation." (see review)

Virgin Books

The Unblemished by Conrad Williams (Virgin Books 03 April 2008 / £7.99) - Uncorrected Proof: The book that won the International Horror Guild award 2007 for the scariest damn novel around finally gets published in the UK. Hoorah!

The Unblemished by the brilliant and deeply disconcerting Conrad Williams - a British writer with a well deserved reputation for scaring people out of their wits - was originally available only as a limited edition hard cover, published in the US by Paul Miller's top drawer Earthling Publications. In April, Virgin Books will release a paperback edition priced at £7.99 - definitely one to watch out for.

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