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UK Books Received- 06/2008  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

Arrow Books Ltd

The Twilight Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (Arrow Books Ltd 05 June 2008 / £7.99) - The third and final volume of Sergei Lukyanenko's The Twilight Watch is released in mass market paperback by Arrow Books.

"In Russia, all volumes of The Night Watch series have sold over two million hard covers between them. The Night Watch has been adapted into an internationally successful film, which has been distributed round the world." - Publisher's Blurb


All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (Gollancz 15 May 2008 / £12.99) - The latest Sookie Stackhouse novel from Charlaine Harris - a Gollancz hard cover release. For further info and links, see the entry below.

"Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake should cotton on to Sookie Stackhouse" -- Publishers Weekly.

Definitely Dead (Gollancz S.F.) by Charlaine Harris (Gollancz 08 May 2008 / £6.99) - The mass market release of Definitely Dead, Charlaine Harris 2006 Sookie Stackhouse novel. This series has deservedly become immensely popular amongst supernatural romance fans with Harris' works appearing on the New York Times best seller lists. A TV series based on Harris' characters, True Blood, has been produced by Alan Ball, the man behind Six Feet Under and stars Oscar winner Anna Paquin. Not bad, eh?

"Psychic waitress Sookie Stackhouse returns in another romantic mystery adventure. Sookie's life is once again on the line, and this time the suspects range from the rogue werres who reject Sookie as a friend of the pack to her first love, the vampire Bill. Sookie's got a lot to do if she's going to keep herself alive."

Dreamsongs - 2 - A Rretrospective (Gollancz S.F.): Bk. 2 by George R.R. Martin (Gollancz 15 May 2008 / £8.99) - 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. Gollancz have sensibly split the book into two volumes for their mass market release, and this month issue Volume Two. Contains short stories and novellas, TV scripts, author commentary and a comprehensive bibliography. A must-have item for any self-respecting Martin fan.

Firstborn: A Time Odyssey Book Three (Time Odyssey) by Arthur C. Clarke (Gollancz 29 May 2008 / £16.99) - With this epic tale of altered histories and different earths, a universe where Alexander's empire prompted a different past, a world where strange alien 'eyes' gaze upon a fractured reality, a time when man is looking to colonise the red planet Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter scale new heights of ambition and sheer story telling brio. This is classic SF adventure from two of the biggest names in the genre. A heady combination of high concept SF, big engineering projects and human drama.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (Gollancz 01 May 2008 / £6.99) - The UK mass market edition of Joe Hill's extraordinary début novel Heart-Shaped Box a novel that has almost single-handedly reinvigorated modern horror (certainly in terms of making it cool!) and that furthermore shows us that the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree... er... by which obscure remark I mean to say that Hill is as damn good a writer as his ole' man, Stephen King.

We're rerunning my review of the original Gollancz release. (see review)

House of Suns (Gollancz S.F.) by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz 17 April 2008 / £18.99) - The brand new novel from one of the UK's premier science fiction authors Alastair Reynolds. House of Suns is published in hard cover by Gollancz.

"Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every two hundred thousand years, to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings. Campion and Purslane are not only late for their thirty-second reunion, but they have brought along an amnesiac golden robot for a guest. But the wayward shatterlings get more than the scolding they expect: they face the discovery that someone has a very serious grudge against the Gentian line, and there is a very real possibility of traitors in their midst. The surviving shatterlings have to dodge exotic weapons while they regroup to try to solve the mystery of who is persecuting them, and why - before their ancient line is wiped out of existence, for ever."

Incandescence by Greg Egan (Gollancz 15 May 2008 / £12.99) - Gollancz's mammoth reissue of Greg Egan's entire (and extremely impressive) back list a couple of months ago paved the way for this, his brand new novel Incandescence, now released in trade paperback.

"A million years from now, the galaxy is divided between the vast, cooperative meta-civilisation known as the Amalgam, and the silent occupiers of the galactic core known as the Aloof. The Aloof have long rejected all attempts by the Amalgam to enter their territory, but have occasionally permitted travellers to take a perilous ride as unencrypted data in their communications network, providing a short-cut across the galaxy's central bulge. When Rakesh encounters a traveller, Lahl, who claims she was woken by the Aloof on such a journey and shown a meteor full of traces of DNA, he accepts her challenge to try to find the uncharted world deep in the Aloof's territory from which the meteor originated. Roi and Zak live inside the Splinter, a world of rock that swims in a sea of light they call the Incandescence. Living on the margins of a rigidly organised society, they seek to decipher the subtle clues that might reveal the true nature of the Splinter. In fact, the Splinter is orbiting a black hole, which is about to capture a neighbouring star, wreaking havoc.As the signs of danger grow, Roi, Zak, and a growing band of recruits struggle to understand and take control of their fate."

Principles of Angels by Jaine Fenn (Gollancz 19 June 2008 / £12.99) - A Gollancz début notable not least in that newcomer Jaine Fenn joins only a handle of British female science fiction writers currently at work in the field. (A prize for anyone who can name five!).

Principles of Angels is reviewed this month by Marcus Gipps. (see review)

The Broken Kings: Book 3 Of The Merlin Codex: Book 3 of the Merlin Codex (Gollancz S.F.) by Robert Holdstock (Gollancz 08 May 2008 / £7.99) - The final volume in Holdstock's Merlin Codex series, now published in mass market paperback by Gollancz.

"...Holdstock weaves myth and history into a fabulous tale of honour, vengeance and magic. At its centre, moving along his never-ending path, is Merlin himself, an enchanter in the prime of his life, feckless, curious, powerful, yet a stranger to his own past - and a man about to find a true and honourable use for his talents." -- Publisher Blurb

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

The Servants by M.M. Smith (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 01 April 2008 / £12.99) - Previously published only in the US as a limited edition (from Paul Miller's superb Earthling Publications) Michael Marshall Smith's new novel is his first - ironically - to be set in Great Britain. The Servants is a hard cover from HarperCollins.

"A uniquely dark and elegant tale that illuminates the loneliness of childhood, the pain of loss and the power of imagination. It will charm and haunt its readers in equal measure. Eleven-year-old Mark is bored. He spends his days on the Brighton sea-front, practicing on his skate-board. His mother is too ill to leave the house, and his stepfather is determined that Mark shouldn't disturb her. So when the old lady who lives in the flat downstairs introduces him to rock cakes and offers to show him a secret, he's happy to indulge her. The old lady takes a large, old-fashioned key and leads Mark down a dusty corridor to a heavy door. Beyond the door is a world completely alien to Mark's understanding. For behind the old lady's tiny apartment, the house's original servants' quarters are still entirely intact, although derelict. Mark finds himself strangely drawn to this window onto the past, and when, the next time he visits, the old lady falls asleep, he steals the key and goes to visit the servants' quarters alone.And suddenly Mark's life takes a bizarre turn, as the past seems to collide with the present, dreams invade reality and truths become apparent to this hitherto unperceiving boy."


Hunter's Run by George R.R. Martin (HarperVoyager 02 June 2008 / £7.99) - HarperCollins Voyager publish the mass market edition of the three way collaboration, Hunter's Run, co-authored by George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois and Daniel Graham.

Martin's web site has some interesting background about this novel, which the publisher blurb describes as a ", clever, funny morality tale that answers the biggest question of all: what makes us human?"

The Scent of Shadows (Zodiac 1) by Vicki Pettersson (HarperVoyager 02 June 2008 / £6.99) - Harper Voyager add another urban fantasy writer to their stable - Vicki Pettersson - billed as an ex-Vegas showgirl turned supernatural romance author. The first (presumably of twelve?) of her Sign of the Zodiac novels is The Scent of Shadows, and the series is being marketed towards fans of the TV show Heroes as well as other writers specialising in this field such as Kim Harrison, Kelly Armstrong and Charlaine Harris - all of whom provide cover quotes.

The Shadow Isle (Deverry Cycle) by Katharine Kerr (HarperVoyager 06 May 2008 / £12.99) - In trade paperback from Harper Voyager is The Shadow Isle by Katherine Kerr, "...The penultimate novel in Katharine Kerr's highly acclaimed epic fantasy series, the interweaving tale of human and elvish history of several hundred years, and many reincarnated lives. As the tale of Deverry and her people draws near to its close, questions will be answered and mysteries uncovered! The wild Northlands hold many secrets, among them the mysterious dweomer island of Haen Marn, the mountain settlements of Dwarvholt, and the fortified city of Cerr Cawnen, built long ago by escaping bondmen from Deverry itself. And just who or what are the mysterious Dwgi folk? Thanks to the Horsekin, who continue to push their religious crusade south toward the borders of the kingdom, the human beings of Deverry and their elven allies realize that the fate of the Northlands lies tangled with their own. Although the dwarven race holds strong, the island of Haen Marn has fled and Cerr Cawnen seems doomed. Only the magic of Dallandra and Valandario and the might of the powerful dragons, Arzosah and Rori, can reveal the secrets and save the Northlands from conquest."

The Taste of Night (Zodiac 2) by Vicki Pettersson (HarperVoyager 02 June 2008 / £6.99) - Book two in this sequence offers up further adventures in a twilight Las Vegas featuring Pettersson's heroine Joanna Archer.

"Even mortal, Joanna Archer was nobody's idea of a victim. But now, infused with the supernatural power to alter the battle between Shadow and Light forever, what she's become is a target. And when a toxic virus invades the valley, her allies are targets are well. To find the cure that will save them, Joanna must embrace her Shadow side ... even if it leads her into an all-out battle with the demons of her past."

The Touch of Twilight (Zodiac 3) by Vicki Pettersson (HarperVoyager 02 June 2008 / £6.99) - The third paperback original of Pettersson's supernatural urban fantasy Zodiac series to be released this month by Harper Voyager.

"Joanna Archer has won the tust of the Light Zodiac, and issued a challange to the Shadows, but in doing so has made herself and those she loves a target.

The shadows are stalking her human lover who believes Joanna to be dead. She is powerless to help him, for in doing so she will have to reveal her identity and put the entire city in peril."

The Twisted Citadel (Darkglass Mountain Trilogy 2) by Sara Douglass (HarperVoyager 06 May 2008 / £8.99) - Sara Douglass - one of Australia's premier female fantasy authors has had something of an image change at HarperCollins, with her cover art being more iconic and less figurative. This is a clever move, specifically because this is the direction a lot of publishers seem to be taking their fantasy covers, certainly in the UK. The cover of Douglass's latest novel The Twisted Citadel, book two in her Darkglass Mountain trilogy reminds me of Orbit's Robert Jordan covers. No bad thing, given Douglass' work will definitely appeal to Jordan's audience.


Chemical Wedding by Julian Doyle (Matador 30 May 2008 / £7.99) - A tie-in novel to accompany a new film, Chemical Wedding, the brainchild of Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson - a supernatural horror film inspired by the life of Aleister Crowley. The film stars Simon Callow and John Shrapnel and is due for general release at the end of May in the UK. The novel is credited to Dickinson and the film's director Julian Doyle is a (self) published trade paperback issued by Matador.

War School by Mark Ramsden (Matador 16 May 2008 / £11.99) - Mark Ramsden is a musician, tarot card reader and now an author with the publication of War School, a trade paperback released this month through self-publishing outfit Matador.

"Jake escapes from bullying and his parents' bickering using Warworld, a conflict computer game based on the entire history of warfare. 'A fight between all the armies who have ever lived in the past, the present and the future. In space!'"

Myrmidon Books Ltd

Space Captain Smith by Toby Frost (Myrmidon Books Ltd 06 May 2008 / £7.99) - In the 25nd Century the British Space Empire faces the gathering menace of the evil ant-soldiers of the Ghast Empire hive, hell- bent on galactic domination and the extermination of all humanoid life.

Isambard Smith is the square-jawed, courageous and somewhat asinine new commander of the clapped out and battle damaged light freighter John Pym, destined to take on the alien threat because nobody else is available. Together with his bold crew - a skull collecting alien lunatic, an android pilot who is actually a fugitive sex toy and a hamster called Gerald - he must collect new-age herbalist Rhianna Mitchell from the laid back New Francisco orbiter and bring her back to safety in the Empire. Straightforward enough - except the Ghasts want her too.

If he is to get back to Blighty alive, Smith must defeat void sharks, a universe-weary android assassin and John Gilead, psychopathic naval officer from the fanatically religious Republic of New Eden before facing his greatest enemy: a ruthless alien warlord with a very large behind. (see review)


Blood Noir (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter) by Laurell K. Hamilton (Orbit 05 June 2008 / £15.99) - It feels like I've been listing Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels for as long as I've been writing this column - which is about nine years! It is a testament to LKH's talent and creativity that this series has remained popular and commercial for so many years. This latest title - the sixteenth in the series - is Blood Noir and is released in hard cover from Orbit.

"Jason is a werewolf. He's also one of Anita Blake's best friends and sometimes her lover. And right now he needs her - not to be a vampire hunter, or a federal marshal, or a necromancer, but because his father is dying. Anita can make him look like an everyday guy, helping him say good-bye to the abusive father he never loved. The fact that Jason is not 'everyday' and Anita is far from being just a pretty woman is something they figure they can keep under wraps for a couple of days in a small town. How hard can that be? Really, by now, Anita Blake should know better. And this is the weekend that Marmee Noir, ancient mother of all vampires, picks to make a move. Somehow she has cut the connection that binds Anita and vampire Master of the City Jean-Claude, leaving them vulnerable. Dangerous even as she sleeps, buried in darkness for a thousand years beneath the old country of Europe, Marmee Noir reaches out toward power - she has attacked Anita before, but never like this. Anita has what she wants - and now she's going to take it."

Blood Ties (Castings Trilogy) by Pamela Freeman (Orbit 05 June 2008 / £7.99) - A popular title for novels, this Blood Ties is the first in a fantasy trilogy by award winning Australian writer Pamela Freeman, a writer who already has a fine pedigree in the YA market. This first novel in The Castings Trilogy has already appeared in her native Australia, and is now published in the UK by Orbit.

"Bramble is impetuous, with a talent for attracting trouble, and she finds it when an accident brands her a criminal. But she can expect no mercy. Her dark colouring marks her as a Traveller, one of the despised original people of the domains. And the local gods are warning her to flee ...In Turvite, where ghosts drift along dark, cobbled streets, Ash must leave the Road to begin an apprenticeship with the only person who will accept a Traveller. His new mistress is devious yet irresistible, but the gods have other plans for Ash ...Death casts Bramble and Ash on separate journeys across valleys and mountains, deep into themselves and the dark history of their ancestors. The gods have not forgotten, and old blood is calling for vengeance."

Bloodheir (Godless World) by Brian Ruckley (Orbit 05 June 2008 / £14.99) - A major release from Orbit this summer. Bloodheir is the second novel from new British fantasy author Brian Ruckley, whose début last year Winterbirth was given a big push by Orbit and consequently received a lot of critical attention. This follow up is issued in hard cover.

"Heroic fantasy splashed with 300-style gore... Ruckley's realistic characters and sparking use of magic breathe new life into well-trod epic territory" -- Entertainment Weekly.

Goddess (Percheron) by Fiona McIntosh (Orbit 05 June 2008 / £7.99) - The final volume in Fiona McIntosh's Percheron sequence. Goddess is a paperback original published this month by Orbit.

"Zar Boaz is preparing for the imminent arrival of the Galinsean fleet and it seems inevitable that the realm will be plunged into war. His only hope is to use Lazar as a bargaining chip but despite the necessity for him to be in the city for the negotiations, the Spur is determined to travel back to the desert to rescue the abducted Zaradine Ana and bring her home. However, finding Ana will not be a simple task. She is being held by the despotic Arafanz and his fanatical followers and as it slowly becomes clear what the presumed madman plans for Percheron, Ana does not know if she is to survive ...and if she is, to what end? In the meantime a much larger doom hovers over Percheron that no-one but Pez and his nemesis, the charismatic Grand Vizier Tariq, understands. The chaos between the neighbouring realms could become irrelevant when the final confrontation for the region's faith is played out."

Metal Gear Solid by Raymond Benson (Orbit 05 June 2008 / £6.99) - The first novel based on Hideo Kojima's massively successful video game, Metal Gear Solid - a new game of which is due for release later in the year. Penned by aymond Benson, this tie-in is released as an orbit paperback original.

"This novel goes back to the origins of the game series, retelling in greater detail the story of Solid Snake in the first MGS game. Solid Snake is a special operations agent with the Foxhound special forces unit. Called in to complete the jobs no one else can, Snake uses a combination of espionage, stealth and ruthlessness to achieve his goals - no matter what the cost. Learn more about Snake as he encounters the Metal Gear armour, his lifelong enemy Revolver Ocelot, and the mystery of Shadow Moses Island ..."

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs (Orbit 05 June 2008 / £6.99) - The first of Patricia Briggs'Mercedes Thompson novels - urban fantasies featuring a shape shifter protagonist. In Moon Called we find Mercy dealing with the werewolf who lives next door - a problem familar to us all! The latest "supernatural thriller with a kick-ass female protagonist" from Orbit. More to follow in this series.

"'I didn't realize he was a werewolf at first. My nose isn't at its best when surrounded by axle grease and burnt oil ...' Mercedes Thompson runs a garage in the Tri-Cities. She's a mechanic, and a damn good one, who spends her spare time karate training and tinkering with a VW bus that happens to belong to a vampire. Her next-door neighbour is an alpha werewolf - literally, the leader of the pack. And Mercy herself is a shapeshifter, sister to coyotes. As such, she's tolerated by the 'wolves but definitely down the pecking order. As long as she keeps her eyes down and remembers her place, the pack will leave her in peace. Hardly a normal situation, but then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself...and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble."

Saturn Returns (Astropolis) by Sean Williams (Orbit 05 June 2008 / £7.99) - Well established, award-winning Australian author Sean Williams, offers up this tantalising space opera which features, as he puts it in his blog, "the uniquely dystopian and very SFnal lyrics of legendary electro-goth, Gary Numan...I'm not talking about a quote here and there.... Nor am I talking about cheesy post-modern flashbacks reflecting on the good old days of synthpop....I'm talking about a major character who speaks solely in Gary Numan lyrics. Every word, without exception--from common, everyday interjections to long, introspective rants."

This is the mass market paperback release published this month by Orbit - check out Steve Sawiki's review of the US edition from our July 2007 issue.

PS Publishing

Template by Matthew Hughes (PS Publishing Mid 2008 / £20.00 /) - Uncorrected proof Copy: A short novel by Matthew Hughes and a worthy addition to his ongoing series of Vancian tales set in the Archonate.

This is a signed, limited edition with an introduction by Jay Lake published by PS Publishing and available direct from their online store. Reviewed this issue. (see review)

Puffin Books

Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl) by Eoin Colfer (Puffin Books 07 August 2008 / £12.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: From Eoin Colfer comes another in his wonderful YA adult series featuring the boy criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. I've enjoyed all these books very much, even though I confess that I may not exactly qualify as the ideal target demographic! Nevertheless, I recommend them to kids of all ages. This latest title, Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox is due for release by Puffin in August 2008.

"Teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has a new mission - and this time, it's personal. Artemis' mother is dangerously ill, and the only way to find a cure is for Artemis - with Holly Short by his side - to go back in time to battle his younger, more evil self." (see review)


The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: v. 2 (Solaris Book of New Science Fiction) by (Solaris 03 March 2008 / £7.99) - Another volume of the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, assembled and ably edited by George Mann. This second volume is a real treat and contains new stories from a truly stellar cast - Michael Moorcock, Neal Asher, Paul Di Filippo, Kay Kenyon, Chris Roberson, Eric Brown and others.

Tachyon Publications

Steampunk by (Tachyon Publications 04 September 2008 / £7.61) - I'm partial to Steampunk in the same way that I'm partial to oxygen - this anthology from Tachyon therefore comes as a most welcome addition to the cannon. Ann & Jeff Vandermeer have assembled a varied range of stories that traverse the entire range of this ever-inventive sub-genre and the collection includes some learned articles that offer information on the context and history of Steampunk. It is however, the stories that are the stars - my favourite by far being Lord Kelvin's Machine by one of Steampunk's founding fathers James P Blaylock. This anthology is worth the price alone just for that story - however, to illustrate what a bargain is truly is, you'll also find find work from Joe Lansdale, Michael Moorcokc, Michael Chabon, Ted Chiang, Mary Gentle, Paul Di Filippo, Neal Stephenson and others.

My recommended release of the month!

Word of God, The: Or, Holy Writ Rewritten by Thomas M. Disch (Tachyon Publications 01 August 2008 / £7.61) - uncorrected Proof Copy: Thomas M Disch (described in the publisher's blurb as "America's most intellectual writer") pens this "satiric [pseudo-memoir". Due from Tachyon in July/August.

"In early 2005 (A.D.), wearying of the world's religious schisms, doctrinal heresies, and manifold editorial sins, Thomas M. Disch took matters into His Own hands and became the Deity. As controversial as it is incontrovertible, the moving true story of His awful transformation and its awesome aftermath reveals, at long last, the hidden web that links Disch, Philip K. Dick, Western wear, the Leamington Hotel, and Eternity itself. Read it in fear and trembling. But read it, or else.



Contact Harvest (Halo) by Joseph Staten (Tor 06 June 2008 / £6.99) - The latest tie-in novel for the Xbox game Halo. A paperback original from Tor UK.

"This is how it began...It is the year 2524. Harvest is a peaceful, prosperous farming colony on the very edge of human-controlled space. But we have trespassed on holy ground - strayed into the path of an aggressive alien empire known as "The Covenant." What begins as a chance encounter between an alien privateer and a human freighter catapults mankind into a struggle for its very existence. But humanity is also locked in a bitter civil war known as the "Insurrection." So the survival of Harvest's citizens falls to a squad of battle-weary UNSC Marines and their inexperienced colonial militia trainees. In this unlikely group of heroes, one stands above the rest...a young Marine staff sergeant named Avery Johnson."

Stealing Light by Gary Gibson (Tor 06 June 2008 / £6.99) - The mass market edition of Gary Gibson's break-out space opera, Stealing Light, originally published last year to some very decent reviews, my own included. We're re-running my review in this issue.

"In the 25th century, only the Shoal possess the secret of faster-than-light travel (FTL), giving them absolute control over all trade and exploration throughout the galaxy. Mankind has operated within their influence for two centuries, establishing a dozen human colony worlds scattered along Shoal trade routes. Dakota Merrick, while serving as a military pilot, has witnessed atrocities for which this alien race is responsible. Now piloting a civilian cargo ship, she is currently ferrying an exploration team to a star system containing a derelict starship. From its wreckage, her passengers hope to salvage a functioning FTL drive of mysteriously non-Shoal origin. But the Shoal are not yet ready to relinquish their monopoly over a technology they acquired through ancient genocide." (see review)


The Dark Volume by G.W. Dahlquist (Viking 01 May 2008 / £18.99) - The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters was a rollicking old-style serial adventure, the début novel by American Gordon Dalhquist and released last year to great acclaim and a rumoured six figure advance. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, with its exotic blend of steampunk and magic and its feisty characters and arcane conspiracies. The whole lamplit experience has been likened to a heady mix of Sherlock Holmes, Dickens and Rider Haggard with a little bit of Buffy and the Marquis de Sade thrown in for good measure. This is a baroque comparison, but, you know what?... it pretty much covers it.

In short, Dahlquist's highly addictive début ticked a lot of boxes and was exactly the kind of rip-roaring and escapist adventure fiction that I love. And released now in hard cover from Penguin Viking is The Dark Volume, a sequel to - actually a direct continuation of - the events that took place in The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters and it is every bit as excellent and exciting as that first book. Terrific fiction and very highly recommended.

"With old loyalties tested by new and unlikely alliances, Miss Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang must call on every reserve of courage to face a new and desperate struggle – after all, the integrity of their very minds is at risk. From palace intrigue and a city in turmoil to wolf-haunted mountains, underground tunnels and a suspicious hidden factory, they must overcome war and heartache to battle old enemies and a host of new villains, all hoping to seize for themselves the power of the blue glass books. Now one glass book in particular drives them all, its deadly contents the key to controlling the secrets of the blue glass, or destroying it forever."

Virgin Books

Banquet for the Damned by Adam L.G. Nevill (Virgin Books 05 June 2008 / £7.99) - Originally published as a limited edition hard cover back in 2004 by PS Publishing, Adam Neville's brilliantly creepy ghost story is now available to a wider audience, published in paperback by Virgin's new horror imprint. This new release features a slightly revised and trimmed down text, but retains and indeed enhances Neville's deliciously unsettling and atmospheric narrative. A fantastic example of a top class chiller. Check out my review of the original PS Publishing release which we re-running this issue. (see review)

William Heinemann Ltd

The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway (William Heinemann Ltd 05 June 2008 / £17.99) - The début novel from British writer Nick Harkaway is a huge, rambling work that fizzes with invention and a great sense of fun. One wonders how the mainstream critics will receive it, largely because to my experienced eye is it SF through to the core, and they can be a little poe-faced to say the least -- I absolutely loved it!!

Check out my review in this issue. (see review)

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