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UK Books Received- 09/2008  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

Atlantic Books

Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Atlantic Books 01 September 2008 / £18.99) - Neal Stephenson's huge new novel Anathem hits book stores on both sides of the Atlantic this month. It's a meganovel, a huge publishing event and a cause for much celebration amongst the SF and literature communities.

You can see a fascinating video clip of Stephenson talking about the novel by following this link to Amazon.com. The UK edition is published in hard cover by Atlantic Books. (see review)

Bantam Press

Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian Cameron Esslemont (Bantam Press 11 September 2008 / £12.99) - The second Malazan novel from Ian Cameron Esslemont, co-creator of this huge and panoramic fantasy world along with Steven Erikson. Both this and Esslemont's first novel Night of Knives were published first as limited editions by PS Publishing. The Return of the Crimson Guard now receives its trade release from Bantam.

"The return of the mercenary company the Crimson Guard could not have come at a worse time for the Malazan Empire. Drained by constant warfare, weakened by betrayal and rivalries, many see the grip of Empress Laseen weakening. Conquered kingdoms and principalities test their old independence. Into this gathering civil war on Quon Tali - the Empire's homeland - comes the Guard. And with their return comes the memory of their hundred year old vow: undying opposition to the existence of the Empire. Yet rivalries and betrayals stalk the Guard as well - elements of its elite, the Avowed, scheme to open paths to even greater power. Ancient potent entities, Ascendants, also lend a hand exploiting all sides to further their own arcane ends.Meanwhile, a swordsman, Traveller, and his companion Ereko, move from one strange encounter to another in a mysterious dance meant ultimately to bring the swordsman to a final confrontation from which none have ever returned. As the Crimson Guard gathers itself from around the globe, Empress Laseen faces more immediate threats. To feed her wars she has bled dry provincial garrisons across Quon Tali and now regional nationalists see their chance.

Behind their insurrections stand the veteran commanders of Laseen's predecessor, Emperor Kellanved. These generals and powerful mages, the "Old Hands," have lost patience with what they see as Laseen's mismanagement and have selected their own replacement. Yet there are hints that Laseen may be using the uprisings to draw out and finally eliminate these last irksome survivors of her predecessor's rule."

The Two Pearls of Wisdom by Alison Goodman (Bantam Press 11 September 2008 / £11.99) - In this Olympic month, with our focus on all things Chinese, this somehow seems an appropriate release. Two Pearls of Wisdom is a new novel from Australian writer Alison Goodman and is being touted as her 'break-out' book and favourably compared to Lian Hearn's wonderful Across the Nightingale Floor sequence.

"Under the harsh regime of an ambitious master, candidate Eon is training to become a Dragoneye - a powerful Lord able to master wind and water to protect the land. But Eon also harbours a desperate secret...Eon is, in fact, Eona, a young woman who has endured years of disguise as a boy for the chance to practice the Dragoneye's Art. In a world where women are only hidden wives or servants, Eona's dangerous deception is punishable by death. Still in disguise, Eona's unprecedented talent thrusts her into the centre of a lethal struggle for the Imperial throne.Summoned by the Emperor to the opulent and treacherous Court, Eona must learn to trust her power and find the strength to face a vicious enemy who would seize her magic...and her life. Inspired by ancient Chinese lore and sharing the wonders of films such as "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", this thrilling novel of deadly politics, sexual intrigue and dazzling swordplay is set in a brilliantly envisioned world where both appearances and loyalties can prove so very deceptive... "

Doubleday

The Folklore of Discworld by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday 11 September 2008 / £17.99) - Another addition to Pratchett's Discworld canon that will doubtless delight its many, many fans. As an offshoot publication, The Folklore of Discworld does cause me to consider if the franchise is becoming a little stretched, but one cannot doubt the market for such a book. A hard cover from Doubleday.

"Most of us grow up having always known to touch wood or cross our fingers, and what happens when a princess kisses a frog or a boy pulls a sword from a stone, yet sadly, some of these things are now beginning to be forgotten. Legends, myths, fairytales: our world is made up of the stories we told ourselves about where we came from and how we got there. It is the same on Discworld, except that beings that on Earth are creatures of the imagination, like vampires, trolls, witches and, possibly, gods, are real, alive and in some cases kicking on the Disc. In "The Folklore of Discworld", Terry Pratchett teams up with leading British folklorist Jacqueline Simpson to give an irreverent yet illuminating look at the living myths and folklore that are reflected, celebrated and affectionately libelled in the uniquely imaginative universe of Discworld. "

Gollancz

Brasyl (Gollancz S.F.) by Ian Mcdonald (Gollancz 28 August 2008 / £7.99) - The Gollancz mass market edition of McDonald's superb and highly acclaimed novel Brasyl. My review of the original hard cover release is being rerun this issue.

"Ian MacDonald's River of Gods, painted a vivid picture of a near future India, 100 years after independence. It revolutionised British SF for a new generation by taking a perspective that was not European or American. Brasyl will do the same for South America's largest and most vibrant country.

A story that begins in the favelas, the slums of Rio, and quickly expands to take in drugs, corruption, and a frightening new technology that allows access to all the multiple worlds that have slipped into existence in other planes every time we make a decision.

This is rich, epic SF that opens our eyes to the world around us and posits mind-blowing alternative sciences. It is a landmark work in modern SF from one of its most respected practitioners." (see review)

Daemons Are Forever: Secret Histories: Bk. 2 (Gollancz S.F.) by Simon R. Green (Gollancz 28 August 2008 / £12.99) - This is Simon Green's second Secret Histories novel, featuring his protagonist Eddie Drood. The series is a playful fusion of James Bond meets Urban Fantasy and it is slickly rendered by Green, an author who has an acute eye for the commercial. Deamons are Forever is a Gollancz trade paperback. Check out my review of the first novel in this series, The Man with the Golden Torc.

"The Drood family is all that stands between Humanity and all the forces of darkness. They were supposed to protect the world, but ended up ruling it. Eddie Drood discovered the lies at the heart of his family, and brought them down. For his sins, they put him in charge: to run the family, and to redeem it. Eddie feels the need to prove to the world that the Drood family is as strong as it ever was. So he decides to wipe out one of Humanity's greatest enemies, the soul eaters known as the Loathly Ones. But once started on this venture, he discovers that the Loathly Ones are just the forerunners of something far worse; the Many-Angled Ones, the Hungry Gods, descending from a higher dimension to consume every living thing in this world. Eddie Drood has got his work cut out for him . . ."

Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition Calendar 2009 (Calendar Collectors Edition) by Terry Pratchett (Gollancz 30 October 2008 / £12.99) - This is the annual visual treat for all discworld fans: a lavish full-colour wall calendar with all your favourite characters!The annual full-colour "Discworld Calendar" features scenes from the Discworld novels by award-winning artists.This year's fantastic illustrators include Pratchett favourites Paul Kidby (the "Discworld Diaries", "The Last Hero", "The Art of Discworld" and numerous book covers), David Wyatt (Discworld Stamps, book covers) and Stephen Player ("The Illustrated Www Free Men", conceptual art for Sky One's blockbuster two-parter "The Hogfather").Other superstars in the fantasy art firmament featured include Les Edwards, Edward Miller, Jackie Morris, Sandy Nightingale, Jon Sullivan, David Frankland, Mel Grant and Dominic Harman.

HarperVoyager

The Painted Man (Demon Trilogy 1) by Peter V. Brett (HarperVoyager 01 September 2008 / £14.99) - Peter Brett's impressive début fantasy , The Painted Man - which I reviewed from an early preview copy in our July issue - is now officially published in hard cover by Harper Voyager. Recommended.

"... a captivating and thrilling fantasy adventure, pulling the reader into a world of demons, darkness and heroes."

Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar) by Raymond E. Feist (HarperVoyager 01 September 2008 / £12.99) - Wrath of a Mad God is the third title in Raymond E. Feist's most recent series The Darkwar and is now published by Voyager in this large format trade paperback edition.

"Can Magnus and the other members of the Conclave find a way to use what they discovered to help save their own people from the wrath of a mad God?"

Headline

Afraid by Jack Kilborn (Headline 13 November 2008 / £19.99) - Uncorrected proof Copy : A dark and bloody thriller by Jack Kilborn - a pseudonym of thriller writer J.A Konrath, author of a sequence of novels featuring Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels, thrillers named after various cocktails and each with a added humorous twist. This Kilborn novel, Afraid, is apparently a far darker affair and will be published in hard cover by Headline this coming November.

"A masterpiece of unrelenting horror. It simply NEVER lets up." -- Henry Rollins

Macmillan

The Temporal Void by Peter F. Hamilton (Macmillan 03 October 2008 / £18.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : The second (huge) novel in Peter F. Hamilton's (huge) Void Trilogy. The Temporal Void is due in hard cover from Macmillan in next month. Catch my review of the first novel in this sequence, The Dreaming Void, back in our August 07 issue.

"The Intersolar Commonwealth is in turmoil as the Living Dream's deadline for launching its Pilgrimage into the Void draws closer. Not only is the Ocisen Empire fleet fast approaching on a mission of genocide, but also an internecine war has broken out between the post-human factions over the destiny of humanity. Countering the various and increasingly desperate agents and factions is Paula Myo, a ruthlessly single-minded investigator, beset by foes from her distant past and colleagues of dubious allegiance - but she is fast losing a race against time. At the heart of all this is Edeard the Waterwalker, who once lived a long time ago deep inside the Void. He is the messiah of Living Dream, and visions of his life are shared by, and inspire billions of humans. It is his glorious, captivating story that is the driving force behind Living Dream's Pilgrimage, a force that is too strong to be thwarted. As Edeard nears his final victory the true nature of the Void is finally revealed."

Matador

Silver Mage by C.M. Debell (Matador 31 August 2008 / £8.95) - A fat fantasy by C.M. Debell released by self-publishing outfit, Matador in trade paperback.

"In the first age of Andeira, men and dragons brought together the two halves of the elemental magic of the world to create a union through which their magic, and the world, could support and renew itself. When war broke out, that union was destroyed – deliberately severed by the ancient mages in a desperate attempt to stop their enemies. They knew the price of their actions: the dragons would disappear from Andeira until such time as it would be safe for them to return, stripping the world of half the elemental magic it needed to survive. What the mages did not realise was that their enemies would survive the severing of the bond, threatening the prophecy created by the dragons to ensure their return in a later age.

Three thousand years on, the world is slowly dying, and the dragons have been forgotten by all but a few. This is the story of one man's search across their ancient homeland, and his desperate bid to fulfil the prophecy and bring the dragons back into the world."

Orbit

Bitten to Death (Jaz Parks) by Jennifer Rardin (Orbit 04 September 2008 / £6.99) - Like it or not, Supernatural Romance is a boom area in genre publishing and this fourth novel in Jennifer Rardin's Jaz Parks sequence serves to further consolidate this authors reputation as an emerging talent. Bitten to Death is an Orbit paperback original.

"Jaz Parks and her vampire boss, Vayl, have already fought demons, vampires, and reavers. Now, juggling work and family takes on a new dimension as she tackles her latest challenge: nail the Raptor before he can reduce her to Jaz-bits, survive a head-on crash with Vayl's violent past, and lever her twin's military career back on track before a dishonorable discharge ruins his life. To top it off, she must also contend with her father's issues. Is he losing his mind? Or is someone really trying to kill him - from beyond the grave?"

Halting State by Charles Stross (Orbit 04 September 2008 / £7.99) - 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 no doubt 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 the mass market 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.

Hunter's Prayer (Jill Kismet Books) by Lilith Saintcrow (Orbit 04 September 2008 / £6.99) - Lilith Saintcrow further establishes her credentials as a writer of urban fantasy with this second Jill Kismet novel. Hunter's Prayer is an Orbit paperback original.

"Jill Kismet, Dealer in Dark Things. Spiritual Exterminator. Demon SLayer - it's not the type of work you can put on a business card. But every city has people like me."

Kushiel's Justice (Teason's Heir) by Jacqueline Carey (Orbit 04 September 2008 / £8.99) - Hugely impressive and expressive fantasy from Jacqueline Carey. Kushiel's Justice is the second title in the second of Carey's Kushiel trilogies and is published this month by Orbit UK in trade paperback.

"Imriel, is third in line to the throne and a troubled scion of a dangerous bloodline. In an effort to unite two lands he has been betrothed to Dorelei, an Alban princess, so he may beget future rulers of Alba. Yet he cannot escape the illicit and dark passion he feels for Sidonie, queen-in-waiting of his homeland - and this will be used against him. When Dorelei and her unborn son are betrayed and he is badly wounded, Imriel finds himself torn between his vow to avenge his wife and child and his desire to seek solace in Sidonie's arms. This is a battle Alba's elders would see him loose, even if they must employ sinister forces to accomplish their ends. And treason and magic make murderous bedfellows."

The Company by K.J. Parker (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £12.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : As an Orbit author K.J.Parker (a pseudonym) has steadily built a name as an writer of intelligent and morally complex fantasy sequences. Following The Fencer Trilogy, The Scavenger Trilogy and The Engineer Trilogy, Parker now offers up a stand alone novel, The Company, due in October from both Orbit UK and Orbit US.

"Hoping for a better life, five war veterans colonize an abandoned island. They take with them everything they could possibly need - food, clothes, tools, weapons, even wives. But an unanticipated discovery shatters their dream and replaces it with a very different one. The colonists feel sure that their friendship will keep them together. Only then do they begin to realize that they've brought with them rather more than they bargained for. For one of them, it seems, has been hiding a terrible secret from the rest of the company. And when the truth begins to emerge, it soon becomes clear that the war is far from over."

The Escapement (Engineer Trilogy 3) by K.J. Parker (Orbit 04 September 2008 / £7.99) - The final part of pseudonymous author K.J. Parker's Engineer trilogy, issued in mass market paperback by Orbit.

Condemned to death, the engineer Ziani Vaatzes escaped from Mezentia. His implacable determination to return home led him to contrive an intricate plan to bring down the Republic, a plan which require a war. He regrets the deaths. But he had no choice.

Duke Valens dragged his people into the war to save the life of one woman. Then he killed her husband. Now, allied to the nomadic barbarians who have the manpower to defeat Mezentia, the Duke regrets the evil he's done. But he had no choice.

Secretary Psellus never wanted to rule the Republic, or fight a desperate siege for its survival. Trying to make sense of how it all happened, he finds himself compelled to investigate the circumstances of Vaatzes' crime. He is terrified of what he might find out, but he has no choice.

The machine has been built. All that remains is to set it in motion.

Warlord (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon (Orbit 04 September 2008 / £7.99) - Orbit publish the third title in Aussie fantasy author Jennifer Fallon's WolfBlade series. Warlord is a paperback original edition.

"Marla Wolfblade is reeling from the loss of her closest advisor, who taught her how to rule a kingdom and to take control of Hythria. But Marla's plans for revenge are disrupted when she discovers a dangerous adversary. And on their borders, a neighbouring kingdom has massed its troops for invasion. Damin Wolfblade, Marla's eldest son, finds his ability to fight back is thwarted by tradition, politics and the dangerous foolishness of the High Prince. Back in the city of Krakendar, Damin's uncle Mahkas awaits news of the battle and has sealed the gates against his nephew's return. With the population on the brink of starvation, it seems only theft on an unprecedented scale can free Krakandar from Mahkas's madness and tyranny ...and destroy Hythria's web of secrets and lies."

Pan Books

Second World by Eddy Shah (Pan Books 07 November 2008 / £6.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Journalist, novelist and business innovator Eddy Shah offers up this futuristic thriller that leans heavily into genre territory. How it holds up next to the works of recognised SF authors remains to be seen. Nevertheless, there is a preponderance of second life / VR novels doing the rounds at the moment and Shah has always exhibited sharp entrepreneurial acumen and an eye for what is current. Second World is a paperback original from Pan, due in November.

"Lured from his birthday celebrations by a Marilyn Monroe avatar, the US president finds himself abducted into cyberspace by a mysterious presence called 'The Voice'. With only twenty-four hours before it will become impossible to return his consciousness to his body, the secret services are thrown into panic. The one called in to solve the mystery of his disappearance is Conor Smith, a disillusioned GameMaster, who enlists the help of Andi and Tebor, two young people who are permanently 'missing in the Web'. Soon they are investigating every corner of the overcrowded area of WebWorld known as the Brick. Meanwhile a couple of mysterious murders escalates the tension, both in VR and Reality, and paranoia reigns as the hero gradually tracks down the mysterious forces that always seem a couple of steps ahead."

The Hunger by Susan Squires (Pan Books 05 September 2008 / £6.99) - More breathless Vampire bodice-ripping advemntures Regency style from US author Susan Squires. The Hunger is a Pan paperback original, first seen in the US back in 2005.

"The year is 1811, and vampire Beatrix Lisse has spent six hundred years trying to atone for her sins. Yet she can't forget the one man she loved many centuries ago - until she meets John Staunton, the Earl of Langley. John is London's most notorious rogue, but he sees an innocence in Beatrix that she no longer believed existed. But Beatrix can't bring herself to reveal her true nature to John, even after they surrender to their fierce passion. It's only after John abandons Beatrix that she learns he has a secret of his own...An undercover spy for England, John's mission is to find out who is behind the sudden shift in power in the French government. If he allows himself to get too close to Beatrix, John knows he'll put her life in danger. But as John gets closer to completing his mission, the very person he seeks is none other than Beatrix's centuries-old rival. With the world unravelling around them, John and Beatrix unite to fight a nemesis whose fury has no limit - even as their unquenchable passion grows more dangerous by the day..."

Whisper in the Dark by Robert Gregory Browne (Pan Books 05 September 2008 / £6.99) - A new thriller from a writer described as on of America's hottest new talents. Robert Gregory Browne's Whisper in the Dark is a paperback original published by Pan.

"When a violent and incoherent naked Jane Doe is found cowering in the street near the scene of a brutal murder, a pair of bloody scissors in hand, Detective Frank Blackburn is faced with a tough question: is she a victim or the killer herself? Determined to get some answers, Blackburn takes the young woman to the Baycliff Hospital detention unit, to renowned psychiatrist Michael Tolan, in the hope that he will work his magic and get her to open up. But Tolan has problems of his own. One year ago today his beloved wife Abby was brutally slain by a savage serial killer named Van Gogh. And just this morning Vincent himself called Tolan, claiming his innocence, claiming he didn't kill Abby at all. He's convinced, however, that the young doctor did and promises to make him pay.Could Van Gogh be right? Could Tolan have killed his own wife? Soon Blackburn is convinced that the murder he's investigating, the mysterious witness and the death of Abby Tolan are all somehow connected. And, above all, Jane Doe is desperately trying to communicate with the world to expose the real killer's identity a killer who is equally desperate ...and about to kill again."

Pocket Books

Master of Darkness by Susan Sizemore (Pocket Books 01 September 2008 / £6.99) - Prolific and best-selling US author Susan Sizemore has Master of Darkness published in the UK as a Pocket paperback original. Another supernatural romance, this one is "...Set in a thrilling and sexy contemporary vampire world... a tale of a powerful vampire Prime and his battle to protect his clan, and the woman he loves, from a terrible danger...".

"Great action, snappy dialogue and powerful prose... Susan Sizemore's Master of Darkness is engaging from beginning to incredible end." -- A Romance Review

Prometheus Books

Son of Man by Robert Silverberg (Prometheus Books 09 July 2008 / £9.99) - A reissue of Robert Silverberg's 1972 classic, Son of Man. A Pyr trade paperback.

"[Son of Man] is profligate, spendthrift, wildly generous with image and sensation and with sexuality." -- New York Times.

Stalking the Unicorn: A Fable of Tonight by Mike Resnick (Prometheus Books 10 September 2008 / £9.99) - Pyr reissue Mike Resnick's 1987 novel Stalking the Unicorn, a noir/fantasy hybrid that pre-dates the current trend for urban fantasy. Resnick is a writer with an extraordinary pedigree and a truly remarkable biography - the Pyr cover copy relates "He has won five hugos and been nominated for twenty-six more. He has sold fifty-two novels and almost two hundred short stories. He has edited forty anthologies..." - be sure to check him out at www.mikeresnick.com.

Stalking the Vampire: A Fable of Tonight by Mike Resnick (Prometheus Books 10 September 2008 / £16.99) - Resnick's long-awaited sequel to Stalking the Unicorn (see above) has Detective Mallory on the trail of a vampire. A smart hard cover release from Pyr.

"Resnick's often-hilarious sequel to Stalking The Unicorn continues the offbeat investigations of PI John Justin Mallory, now a permanent resident of an alternate Manhattan....This time, his team includes Scaly Jim Chandler, a dragon with hopes of making it as a pulp author, and a vampire who prefers tomato juice to blood. Readers with a taste for supernatural whimsy will find much to enjoy here." - Publishers Weekly

PS Publishing

The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott (PS Publishing 24 August 2008 / £20.00) - Australian author Will Elliott's astonishing début won the inaugural ABC fiction award as well as the Golden Aurealis and Ditmar awards - pretty much a full house of the top Aussie genre prizes. It was also nominated for the International Horror Guild award - yet in spite of all these accolades, this dark delight didn't really reach its target audience when it was first published here in the UK. PS Publishing have now put that right with this beautiful hard cover limited edition, available in two states.

The Pilo Family Circus is a malevolent and anarchic black comedy that will scare the pants of you and have you in fits of giggles at the same time. It really is something special!

Quercus

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas (Quercus 04 September 2008 / £9.99) - Quercus continue to develop their YA line with the publication of The Magic Thief, a delightful fantasy for youngsters by Sarah Prineas and already seen in the US, published there by HarperCollins to much acclaim. As well as this UK deal (which will see the book appear in Australia and New Zealand) rights have been sold in a dozen or so territories.

"In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery's pocket and touched the wizard's locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who—or what—is stealing the city of Wellmet's magic."

Simon & Schuster Ltd

A Darkness Forged in Fire (The Iron Elves) by Chris Evans (Simon & Schuster Ltd 01 September 2008 / £12.99) - A fantasy début from US author (and Clarion graduate) Chris Evans, published by Simon & Schuster in large format trade paperback. The first in The Iron Elves trilogy.

"Rejected by their own kind for bearing the mark of the Shadow Monarch, the Iron Elves chose instead to serve with the human armies of the Calahrian Empire, hoping through their dedication and discipline to wipe out the stain of their birth. Their reputation is legendary -- until their commander, Konowa Swiftdragon, takes it upon himself -- for the best of reasons -- to assassinate the Viceroy. Court-martialled and exiled to the forest he despises, his beloved regiment disgraced, dishonoured and disbanded, Konowa finds himself suddenly recalled and ordered to re-form the Iron Elves for one last reconnaissance mission. But the new Iron Elves are not at all the same as they were before, and the mission is a suicidal one, with more at stake than Konowa could possibly have imagined. For the Shadow Monarch and her allies have harnessed destructive forces with the power to tear worlds apart -- and those who bear her mark have a destiny greater than they know.So begins an heroic journey in the company of a motley band of misfits, rebels and outcasts, with a central character whose engaging, brilliantly realised blend of cynicism, dry humour, duty and anguish make him unlike any other in fantasy fiction."

Tachyon Publications

The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers (Tachyon Publications 01 August 2008 / £10.99) - It's hard to believe that this Tim Powers classic has been out of print for so long. An extraordinary secret history of the Romantic poets and their hidden muse, it is a vampire tale second to none. Hats off to Tachyon Publications who reissue The Stress of Her Regard in trade paperback.

"A terrified young doctor allies himself with the great Romantic poets to battle a malignant apparition seeking her ultimate pleasure in their ravaged bodies and imperilled souls. When Michael Crawford discovers his bride brutally murdered in their wedding bed, he is forced to flee not only to prove his innocence, but to avoid the deadly embrace of a vampire who has claimed him as her true bridegroom. Joining forces with Byron, Keats, and Shelley in a desperate journey that criss-crosses Europe, Crawford desperately seeks his freedom from this vengeful lover who haunts his dreams and will not rest until she destroys all that he cherishes. Told in the guise of a secret history, this dramatic, shocking novel of passion and terror skilfully recasts the tragic lives of the Romantic poets into a uniquely terrifying tale.

Back in print for the first time since 1994, this long-awaited new edition of The Stress of Her Regard will thrill loyal Tim Powers fans as well as newcomers to this gripping Gothic tour de force. "

Tor

The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Tor 05 September 2008 / £6.99) - The third of John Scalzi's excellent military SF novels in the sequence that began with Old Man's War. The Last Colony is published in the UK by Tor as a paperback original. Top notch stuff!

"John Perry has at last found peace in a violent universe, living quietly with his family in one of humanity's many colonies. It's a good life, yet there's something ...missing. When John and his wife Jane are asked to lead a new colony world, he jumps at the chance to explore the universe once more. But they soon find out that nothing is what it seems, for his new colony is merely pawns in an interstellar game of war and diplomacy between humanity's Colonial Union and a new, seemingly unstoppable alien alliance that is dedicated to ending all human colonization. As this contest rages above, Perry struggles to keep his terrified colonists alive in the face of threats both alien and familiar, on a planet yet to reveal its own fatal secrets."

Winterstrike by Liz Williams (Tor 05 September 2008 / £12.99) - The latest novel from Liz Williams, an author I have huge admiration for, not least for her prolific and consistently high quality output, but also for the bright intelligence always so clearly on display in her work. Winterstrike is a smart hard cover release from Tor UK.

"Winterstrike spy, Hestia Mar has been sent to Caud to recover details of an ancient weapon. During her stay in the Martian city, she encounters the ghost of a warrior, who turns out to be the encoded representation of the city's bombed library. She downloads the data contained here, and the details of the weapon are among them. But Hestia Mar realises too late what she has done: by accessing the data, she has virtually guaranteed the use of the weapon against Caud by her own government. Desperate to rescue the situation she makes her way back home across the dangers of the Crater Plain.Meanwhile, in Winterstrike itself, the festival of Ombre has been taking place upon the eve of war. Shorn, a woman imprisoned by her family for accidentally consorting with a male - manages to escape. Her sister Essgui follows Shorn and sets out across the Crater Plain where she meets Hestia Mar. Their journey - to recover lost sister and missing weapon - takes them into the dangerous mountains of Mars, and the discovery of a group of outcast male creatures who hold the secrets to the Martian past, and to its future..."

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