Andersen Press Ltd
The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech
(Andersen Press Ltd 05 November 2009 / £10.99) - Sharon Creech is both a Carnegie Award and Newbery Medal winning author, having started her writing career writing for adults. The Recital and Nickel Malley were both written and published whilst she was living in England. Since writing Absolutely Normal Chaos (1990) she's written mostly young adult novels with Walk Two Moons being the first of her books to be published in America. She is still recovering from shock when she received the 1995 Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons. She followed it up with Chasing Redbird, Pleasing the Ghost, Bloomability, The Wanderer, and Fishing in the Air.
The Unfinished Angel is her most recent book and is reviewed this issue by Liz de Jager.
"In an old stone tower high in the mountains of Switzerland lives an angel with attitude. The angel is annoyed with "peoples" and unsure of her (or his?) mission. When a colourful American girl, Zola, arrives, she challenges the angel, and figs start flying. Together Zola and the angel rescue a band of orphans, reawaken the sleepy village, and explore what it means to be a 'peoples' and to be an angel." (see review)
Angel of Death by J.Robert King
(Angry Robot 03 September 2009 / £7.99) - Leading off the second tranche of releases from the new HarperCollins imprint - Angry Robot - who continue to aggressively carve out a market share for themselves and are are doing so ingeniously - and with some great material.
First up this month is a novel described by its author - US author J. Robert King - as 'metaphysical suspense', a sub-genre further defined by the publisher as "...that just means they blow your imagination apart while at the same time freezing your blood.". Angel of Death is a paperback original.
"A serial killer stalks Chicago. A gorgeous cop is on his trail. Someone else is watching, someone who can decide who lives and who dies. The Angel of Death in Chicago oversees all people in the city, making sure their deaths fit their lives. When a gruesome serial killer strikes, the Angel must make a startling choice. He falls in love with the cop on the killer's trail, and has to make a choice between divinity and humanity. When he chooses humanity he must face the biggest terror of all - of who he is, and who the killer is who's on their trail. The serial killer thriller runs headfirst into the supernatural in this autumn page-turner."
Kell's Legend (Clockwork Vampire) by Andy Remic
(Angry Robot 03 September 2009 / £7.99) - We reviewed a couple of Andy Remic's earlier novels here in past issues (see here for Spiral and here for Quake). Since those early, slightly clunky futuristic thrillers published by Orbit, Remic has changed tack straying into boysie Military SF with Biohell and War machine (published by Solaris) and he's now found a new home with Angry Robot for whom he's writing boysie fantasy. Kell's Legend sports a cover showing a bearded, fur clad warrior wielding an axe that is bigger than a car!
"The land of Falanor is invaded by an albino army, the Army of Iron. A small group set off to warn the king: Kell, ancient hero; his granddaughter, Nienna and her friend, Katrina; and the ex-Sword Champion of King Leanoric, Saark, disgraced after his affair with the Queen.
Fighting their way south, betrayal follows battle follows deviation, and they are attacked from all quarters by deadly albino soldiers, monstrous harvesters who drain blood from their victims to feed their masters, and the twisted offspring of deviant vachine, the cankers. As Falanor comes under heavy attack and crushing invasion, only then does Nienna learn the truth about grandfather Kell – that he is anything but a noble hero, anything but a Legend."
Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero by Dan Abnett
(Angry Robot 01 October 2009 / £7.99) - Dan Abnett - is a well known comics writer and an author whose WarHammer books have sold by the bucketload now turns his hand as his own originated fiction and has come up with something very interesting indeed. Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero is a fantasy set in a modern Elizabethan age, an alternative present extrapolated from and entrenched in a contemporaneous Shakespearan era. Fusing this already heady concoction with the existence of magic makes for a swashbuckling adventure all round. Trimff: Her Majesty's Hero is a trade paperback release.
"Pratchett goes swashbuckling in the hotly anticipated original fiction debut of the multi-million selling Warhammer star.
Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero is a ribald historical fantasy set in a warped clockwork-powered version of our present day … a new Elizabethan age, not of Elizabeth II but in the style of the original Virgin Queen. Throughout its rollicking pages, Sir Rupert Triumff drinks, dines and duels his way into a new Brass Age of Exploration and Adventure.
The first original novel from multi-million selling tie-in king Dan Abnett, it has all the swashbuckling action of his most popular writing, but also a wild sense of humour – believe us, in all seriousness some of the diabolical gags he’s wrangling in this novel would kill a less experienced writer."
Winter Song by Colin Harvey
(Angry Robot 01 October 2009 / £7.99) - This month's Angry Robot are capped off with this hard SF adventure by British author Colin Harvey (see here for his blog).
"Karl Allman … crashes pretty spectacularly on a barely habitable planet (it’s a description worthy of Iain M. Banks). He is helped by Bera, a woman shunned by her social group/fostered family for an illegitimate and failed child. Together these two break from the trial group causing a hunt across the icy and mostly barren and strangely, starkly beautiful landscape… Karl is looking for a possibly mythical ship/beacon through which he can send a signal for aid and Bera is looking for freedom from the oppressive system that has kept the failing colony going for generations … This is a tale about personal struggle and will leave you thinking about it weeks later. [Colin Harvey] deserves a place on your shelf along with Asher, Reynolds, Hamilton and Stross." -- Deadwood Reviews
Swallowing Darkness (Meredith Gentry 7) by Laurell K. Hamilton
(Bantam Books 05 November 2009 / £6.99) - Merry Gentry is not your average private investigator. Half human, half faerie, she's caught in a struggle that threatens not only her life, but the lives of those she desires and holds dear. Her very existence and her rightful place on the throne of Faerie have long depended on her producing an heir - and now, after many failed attempts, she is pregnant...A triumphant moment, but revelation follows revelation: for Merry carries twins, and they have more than one father...There are those of her own flesh and blood who want Merry and her unborn children dead, but she is a fighter and wields a wild magic. And this is her world. This is where the magical and the mortal intertwine, where folklore, fantasy and erotically charged adventure collide...
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson
(Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 02 November 2009 / £10.99) - The latest YA book from Whitbread award winner Jeanette Winterson and a sequel to her acclaimed adventure Tanglewreack. Published in hardcover - with a gorgeous cover - by Bloomsbury, The Battle of the Sun is "... a compelling fantasy adventure with a cast of weird and wonderful characters."
"Jack is the chosen one, the Radiant Boy the Magus needs in order to perfect the alchemy that will transform London of the 1600s into a golden city. But Jack isn't the kind of boy who will do what he is told by an evil genius, and he is soon involved in an epic and nail-biting adventure, featuring dragons, knights and Queen Elizabeth I, as he battles to save London."
Breaking Point by John Macken
(Corgi Books 22 October 2009 / £6.99) - A tense thriller by John Macken, published by Corgi in paperback - Ex-CID detective Reuben Maitland takes us on a breathtaking hunt for a killer who is targeting people on the London underground.
"Everybody has their breaking point. The point beyond which anything is possible, where you would fight, attack, do things your rational self would never condone. The point beyond which you might even kill. How hard would you have to be pushed before you snapped? There is a killer loose on the London Underground. He kills without leaving any forensic trace, and seemingly without motive. Genecrime, the UK's elite forensic unit, are stretched to the limits trying to find one usable clue. And there is another problem facing Genecrime. Before he was sacked as head of the unit, Reuben Maitland developed a system to predict latent homicidal behaviour from people's DNA. Now rogue elements in the police, believing that prevention is better than cure, are using Reuben's research to hunt down and incite latent psychopaths beyond their breaking point. Reuben must track down whoever is misusing his technology and stop them before more lives are destroyed. But what he cannot know is that his investigation will lead him directly into the path of the Underground killer."
The War with the Mein: Other Lands Bk. 2 by David Anthony Durham
(Doubleday 22 October 2009 / £12.99) - I don't think I was quite the lone voice in being distinctly underwhelmed by David Anthony Durham's Acacia (see my review here) but it would seem that I was definitely in the minority. Nevertheless I stand by my assessment of that first book and I won't therefore be picking up this second in the Durham's fantasy trilogy. But don't let me influence you! - The Other Lands is a trade paperback from Doubleday.
""...Queen Corinn Akaran is firmly in control of the Known World. Her primary goal is to topple the Lothan Aklun and so she sends her brother Daniel, disguised as a slave, on an exploratory expedition to the Other Lands. Daniel soon discovers a mainland that is a more lush, exotic, and expansive than the Known World; and the ruling tribe, the Auldek, are more numerous and powerful than the Numrek. But unbeknownst to the Corinn and her siblings, the Numrek and Auldek are ancient ancestors and their inevitable alliance could mean the downfall of Acacia. In this bold and imaginative sequel to Acacia, Queen Corinn must unite the battered and abused people of the Acacia Empire against the powerful tribes of the Other Lands."
FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer
(Gollancz 08 October 2009 / £6.99) - Multi-award winning Canadian writer Robert J. Sawyer's Flashforward is published in the UK by Gollancz in this mass market edition tying in to the TV series which has recently started screen over here on Channel 5 (follow the link and if you're in the UK you might still be able to watch it online).
"Suddenly everyone in the world loses consciousness for two minutes. Planes fall from the sky, there are millions of car crashes, millions die. And when everyone comes round they have had a glimpse of their life in the future ... When it awakes the world must live with the knowledge of what is to come ... Some saw themselves in new relationships, some saw exciting new technologies, some saw the stuff of nightmares. Some, young and old alike, saw nothing at all ... A desperate search to find out what has happened begins. Does the mosaic of visions offer a clue?
What did you see?"
I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas by Adam Roberts
(Gollancz 01 October 2009 / £7.99) - Marley was dead. Again. The legendary Ebenezeer Scrooge sits in his house counting money. The boards that he has nailed up over the doors and the windows shudder and shake under the blows from the endless zombie hordes that crowd the streets hungering for his flesh and his miserly braaaaiiiiiinns!
Just how did the happiest day of the year slip into a welter of blood, innards and shambling, ravenous undead on the snowy streets of old London town? Will the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future be able to stop the world from drowning under a top-hatted and crinolined zombie horde?
Was Tiny Tim's illness something infinitely more sinister than mere rickets and consumption? Can Scrooge be persuaded to go back to his evil ways, travel back to Christmas past and destroy the brain stem of the tiny, irritatingly cheery Patient Zero?
It's the Dickensian Zombie Apocalypse - God Bless us, one and all! (see review)
Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey
(Gollancz 21 January 2010 / £18.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: Carey moves to a new UK publisher, Gollancz, who publish her new series next January. Naamah's Kiss is "... driven by a headstrong, passionate heroine... a tale of destiny, heartache, war, magic and romance in a vibrant historical setting."
"Once there were great magicians born to the Maghuin Dhonn; the folk of the Brown Bear, the oldest tribe in Alba. But generations ago, the greatest of them all broke a sacred oath sworn in the name of all his people. Now, only small gifts remain to them. Through her lineage, Moirin possesses such gifts - the ability to summon the twilight and conceal herself, and the skill to coax plants to grow.
Moirin has a secret, too. From childhood onward, she senses the presence of unfamiliar gods in her life; the bright lady, and the man with a seedling cupped in his palm. Raised in the wilderness by her reclusive mother, it isn't until she comes of age that Moirin learns how illustrious, if mixed, her heritage is. The great granddaughter of Alais the Wise, child of the Maghuin Donn, and a cousin of the Cruarch of Alba, Moirin learns her father was a D'Angeline priest dedicated to serving Naamah, goddess of desire.
After Moirin undergoes the rites of adulthood, she finds divine acceptance...on the condition that she fulfill an unknown destiny that lies somewhere beyond the ocean. Or perhaps oceans. Beyond Terre d'Ange where she finds her father, in the far reaches of distant Ch'in, Moirin's skills are a true gift when facing the vengeful plans of an ambitious mage, a noble warrior princess desperate to save her father's throne, and the spirit of a celestial dragon."
The Rats and the Ruling Sea by Robert V.S. Redick
(Gollancz 29 October 2009 / £12.99) - The long-awaited follow up to Robert V.S. Redick's The Red Wolf Conspiracy - a novel which I thoroughly enjoyed back when I reviewed it in Feb 2008. Gollancz now publish the sequel, The Rats and the Ruling Sea in trade paperback.
"... Thasha's wedding is hours away. It is a wedding that will both fulfil the promise of a mad god's return and see her murdered. Pazel has thwarted the sorcerer who would bring back the god but both sides now face deadlock. Can Thasha be saved? Can the war between two Empires be stopped? THE RATS AND THE RULING SEA is, once again, focused on the giant ancient ship, the CHATHRAND, but now she must brave the terrors of the uncharted seas; the massive storms and the ship swallowing whirlpools and explore lands forgotten by the Northern world, all the time involved in a vicious running battle with a ship half her size but nearly her match. Robert Redick's new novel takes the reader further into the labyrinthine plots and betrayals that have underscored the trilogy from the beginning. We learn more about the Ixchel as they fight for survival against the Chathrand's rats, discover more about the true motives of conspirators, live with Thasha and Pazel as they face death and deceit, and as the Chathrand sails into the infamous Ruling Sea. Robert Redick's sequel to the acclaimed THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY is a masterpiece of plotting and adventure. As each page turns the reader shares with the characters the dawning realisation that nothing is at it seems."
Makers by Cory Doctorow
(HarperVoyager 29 October 2009 / £14.99) - Cory Doctorow's new novel is Makers, published in hardcover by HarperCollins. If you've not come across Cory, either as a SF writer or as an incisive, cutting edge commentator on our technological age, get the hell out from under that rock you've been living under and head over to his web site!
"What does the future look like? A brilliantly entertaining and original novel about the end of the economy from the visionary author of Little Brother. Perry and Lester invent things. All sorts of things. Seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent an entirely new economic system. 'New Work' is a New Deal for the technological era. Soon barefoot bankers are criss-crossing the nation, microinvesting in high-tech communal start-ups like Perry and Lester's. Together they transform a country, and journalist Suzanne Church is there to document it. But a new economic system requires a whole new belief system -- and there are plenty of non-believers out there. The New Work bust puts the dot.com-bomb to shame and soon Perry and Lester are out of funds and out of business. Down but not out, they go back to what they do best - making stuff. But when a rogue Disney executive grows jealous of their once more soaring popularity and convinces the police that their amazing 3-D printers are being used to run off AK-47s, things get very dark very quickly! "
Hodder & Stoughton
Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A E Moorat
(Hodder & Stoughton 15 October 2009 / £7.99) - Yet more evidence of the current "Zombies are in" phenomenon is this curious release from Hodder, a publisher who tend to be very choosy about their genre output. Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter is a zombie-by-gaslight mash-up that is as silly as such things get and about as enjoyable too. Written by Andrew Holmes (author of the critically acclaimed Sleb and Criminal Records, both published by Sceptre) under the Victorian sounding pseudonym of A.E. Moorat, this is well worth a look.
"There were many staff at Kensington Palace, fulfilling many roles; a man who was employed to catch rats, another whose job it was to sweep the chimneys. That there was someone expected to hunt demons did not shock the new Queen; that it was to be her was something of a surprise.
London, 1838. Queen Victoria is crowned; she receives the orb, the sceptre, and an arsenal of blood-stained weaponry. Because if Britain is about to become the greatest power of the age, there's the small matter of the demons to take care of first... But rather than dreaming of demon hunting, it is her love for Prince Albert that occupies her thoughts. Can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere?
With lashings of glistening entrails, decapitations, and foul demons, this masterly new portrait will give a fresh understanding of a remarkable woman, a legendary monarch, and quite possibly the best Demon Hunter the world has ever seen..."
Macmillan Children's Books
The Immortals: Evermore: He said he`d never let her go ... by Alyson Noel
(Macmillan Children's Books 18 September 2009 / £6.99) - Seventeen-year-old Ever is the sole survivor of a car crash that killed her entire family. Living with her aunt in Southern California, she's plagued by the ability to hear the thoughts of those around her, and haunted by the ghost of her little sister. She tries to tune everyone out, shunning her old lifestyle as the pretty, popular cheerleader, but somehow she can't hide from Damen, the new guy at school. Stunningly handsome, clever and not a little bit intimidating, there's something about him that doesn't quite add up. Ever realises he's hiding something, but nothing could prepare her for the truth - especially when the truth involves past lives, murderous enemies, everlasting love and the secret of eternal youth . . .
And Another Thing ...: Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Part Six of Three (Hitchhikers Guide 6) by Eoin Colfer
(Michael Joseph 12 October 2009 / £18.99) - I am big fan of the late Douglas Adams and a big fan of Eoin Colfer, an author whose Artemis Fowl and Airman novels I've reviewed enthusiastically in previous issues. But I'm not at all sure that I'm a fan of Eoin Colfer wearing Douglas Adams' clothes - something he's most definitely doing in this sixth instalment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy.
Publication of this new HH2G volume is an event of some debate - is it a matter of cashing in on a franchise that has outlived its creator or a clear-cut case of supply and demand? I don't know - but Colfer, a writer who is many, many things in his own right, is faced with an almost impossible talk in taking on this enormous commission. Adams' was most definitely a one-off, and Colfer must pay homage and emulate the late author, but somehow avoid attempting to copy his very distinctive style. It's not at all clear to me that Colfer succeeds in this remit and thus I predict that many will buy And Another Thing but few will like it! Regardless of whether that should come to pass, it's money in the bank for publisher Michael Joseph and as a writer with legions of loyal readers already in place, Colfer's own reputation will remain unsullied by any flack he catches.
Being a big event in the publishing calendar, this hardcover release will be accompanied by much noise - catch some of it here at www.6of3.com.
Ender in Exile (Ender 6) by Orson Scott Card
(Orbit 05 November 2009 / £7.99) - Prolific, ever-visible and occasionally controversial, Orson Scott Card remains to date only author to have won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in consecutive years. Ender in Exile is his direct sequel to his seminal best-seller Enders Game and is released by Orbit as a paperback original.
"At first, Ender believed that they would bring him back to Earth as soon as things quieted down. But things were quiet now, had been quiet for a year, and it was plain to him now that they would not bring him back at all, that he was much more useful as a name and a story than he would ever be as an inconveniently flesh-and-blood person. At the close of ENDER'S GAME, Andrew Wiggin - called Ender by everyone - knows that he cannot live on Earth. He has become far more than just a boy who won a game: he is the Saviour of Earth, a hero, a military genius whose allegiance is sought by every nation of the newly shattered Earth Hegemony. He is offered the choice of living under the Hegemon's control, a pawn in his brother Peter's political games. Or he can join the colony ships and go out to settle one of the new worlds won in the war. The story of those years on the colony worlds has never been told ...until now."
Kushiel's Mercy (Treason's Heir) by Jacqueline Carey
(Orbit 05 November 2009 / £8.99) - Orbit release Kushiel's Mercy, in B format - the sixth of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel novels. Carey is a tremendous writer - her books are damn sexy, artfully erotic and effortlessly stylish. Top shelf fantasy for discerning readers.
"Sidonie, heir to the throne, and Imriel, son of a traitor, have confessed their dangerous union. But their love has caused political uproar: Imriel's infamous mother plunged Terre d'Ange into a bloody war and her crimes will not be lightly forgiven. If the couple weds, Sidonie will be disinherited. A union will only be permitted if Imriel finds the mother he has never known and returns her to Court for execution. But newer evils take precedence when a visiting diplomat casts a dark enchantment over the d'Angeline Court. The sorcerer returns home with Sidonie in his thrall, and falsely-won pledges of support in a foreign war. Imriel must evade bewitched friends and work with erstwhile enemies to rescue Sidonie and pull the country back from the brink of conflict. And no one but him remembers their forbidden romance."
Mirror Space: Sentients of Orion, Book 3 by Marianne De Pierres
(Orbit 05 November 2009 / £7.99) - The third novel in a grand space opera series from Australian author Marianne de Pierres, who scored notable success with her Parish Plessis novels. The Sentients of Orion sequence began with Dark Space and Chaos Space and is now followed by Mirror Space, issued in paperback original this month by Orbit.
"Araldis is still under occupation by hostile forces, and with the Orion League of Sentient Species seemingly unable - or unwilling - to help, Mira Fedor is forced to turn to the mercenary captain, Rast Randall, if she is to save her planet. But while Rast's contacts may be free of political constraints, what they lack in red tape they more than make up for in ruthlessness. As some of their hidden strategies are revealed, others become even more opaque. Why have the philosophers of Scolar been targetted? How far does the Extropist influence extend into Orion space? From Lasper Farr, the Stain War veteran and ruler of the junk planet Edo, to the Sole initiates at Belle Monde to Rast herself, everyone is pursuing their own agenda. But are they really separate goals? Or are events rushing to a single, terrifying conclusion ...?"
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
(Orbit 05 November 2009 / £9.99) - Orbit publish this fortieth anniversary edition of Ursula Le Guin's SF masterpiece The Left Hand of Darkness - seminal reading and a very neat hard cover reissue.
"Genly Ai is a diplomat of sorts, sent to observe the inhabitants of the snowbound planet of Winter. But the isolated, androgynous people are suspicious of this strange, single-gendered visitor. Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they have no knowledge of space travel or of life beyond their own world. So, bringing news of a vast coalition of planets they are invited to join, he is met with fear, mistrust and disbelief. But also something more. For Genly Ai, who sees himself as a bringer of the truth, it is a bittersweet irony that he will discover truths about himself and, in the snow-shrouded strangeness of Winter, find both love and tragedy ...First published in the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, The Left Hand of Darkness is a classic of science fiction and a masterpiece of modern literature. "
The Wings of Wrath: The Magister Trilogy Book Two by Celia Friedman
(Orbit 05 November 2009 / £12.99) - Orbit are reissuing Celia Friedman's newest fantasy series in trade paperback and with a smart and stylish new cover look. Wings of Wrath is the second novel in the sequence - the first being Feat of Souls, previously reviewed in our January '07 issue.
"In a world where the price of magic is life itself, a group of seemingly immortal sorcerers appears to have cheated the system. But only one man knows the true origin of their power, or understands the true cost. Now Kamala - born to poverty and abuse, the first woman to claim a Magister's power - will seek her rightful place among these mages, and lay siege to their secrets. The monk Salvator will claim his father's throne, and test his faith against a legendary darkness. The beautiful Siderea Aminestas, consort to Magisters, will be offered the thing she desires most - at the cost of her human soul. And an ancient Evil thought long-destroyed begins to stir anew, corrupting kings, shattering alliances and ultimately threatening to unweave the very fabric of human civilisation. A mystical bloodline was cultivated to withstand this darkness, and its power must be wakened. But this will demand sacrifice of its warriors - and corruption is rife."
Starship - Flagship by Mike Resnick
(Prometheus Books 01 December 2009 / £21.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: Mike Resnick's fifth Starship is due in hardcover next month from Pyr.
"The date is 1970 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now, and the Republic, created by the human race but not yet dominated by it, finds itself in an all-out war against the Teroni Federation, an alliance of races that resent Man's growing military and economic power. The rebel starship, the Theodore Roosevelt, under the command of Wilson Cole, is preparing to lead Cole's ragtag armada into the Republic, even though he is outnumbered thousands to one. Cole is convinced that the government has become an arrogant and unfeeling political entity and must be overthrown. The trick is to avoid armed conflict with the vast array of ships, numbering in the millions, in the Republic's Navy. For a time Cole's forces strike from cover and race off to safety, but he soon sees that is no way to conquer the mightiest political and military machine in the history of the galaxy. He realises that he must reach Deluros VIII, the headquarters world of the Republic (and of the race of Man), in order to have any effect on the government at all - but Deluros VIII is the best-protected world in the Republic. But a new threat looms on the horizon. Cole, the Valkyrie, David Copperfield, Sharon Blacksmith, Jacovic, and the rest of the crew of the Teddy R face their greatest challenge yet, and the outcome will determine the fate of the entire galaxy."
This Crooked Way by James Enge
(Prometheus Books 01 November 2009 / £13.50) - The follow up to Enge's Blood of Ambrose, a fantasy début from Pyr that was very warmly received (by our own Mel Jacob amongst others) when it was released earlier this year. Sequel This Crooked Way is a trade paperback edition. Find out more at both the author's web site and the Pyr Books site.
"Travelling alone in the depths of winter, Morlock Ambrosius (bitterly dry drunk, master of all magical makers, wandering swordsman, and son of Merlin Ambrosius and Nimue Viviana) is attacked by an unknown enemy.
To unmask his enemy and end the attacks he must travel a long crooked way through the world: past the soul-eating Boneless One, past a subtle and treacherous master of golems, past the dragon-taming Khroi, past the predatory cities of Sarkunden and Aflraun, past the demons and dark gnomes of the northern woods.Soon he will find that his enemy wears a familiar face, and that the duel he has stumbled into will threaten more lives than his own, leaving nations shattered in its chaotic wake.And at the end of his long road waits the death of a legend. "
Darkness Darkness (Forever Twilight) by Peter Crowther
(PS Publishing 15 August 2009 / £15.00) - Peter Crowther's Forever Twilight #1: Darkness, Darkness is a wonderful mix of post-apocalypse, alien invasion and zombie fright-fest. It's tense, compelling piece of fiction reminding us that for all his extraordinary prowess as a gentleman publisher, Crowther remains a formidable fiction writer.
Darkness, Darkness is a short novel - originally published by Cemetery Dance back in 2002. It is part of a sequence of tied stories and is being reissued by PS publishing (strictly speaking it's published by an imprint of PS, Drugstore Indian Press, created specifically for the purpose) in order to tie in with the release of the second Forever Twilight title, Windows to the Soul just released by Subterranean Press - see below!
"Zombie monsters struck from the mold of countless drive-in B movies supply mayhem and gore in Darkness, Darkness, the first volume of a projected SF-horror series. Their onslaught is heralded one day by a predawn flash of unearthly light that cuts off middle-American everyville Jesman's Bend from communication with the outside world. When four employees of local radio station KMRT investigate, they find the town mysteriously depopulated, apparently in the middle of regular routines. Familiar folk reappear shortly afterward, all wearing concealing sunglasses and gloves and driven by malignant alien motives revealed when they descend en masse upon the terrified foursome..."
Prince of Storms (Entire and the Rose) by Kay Kenyon
(Pyr 26 January 2010 / £16.31) - Uncorrected proof Copy: Kay Kenyon offers up this fourth novel in her series of The Entire and The Rose. Prince of Storms will be published in January 2010 by Pyr.
"Finally in control of the Ascendancy, Titus Quinn has styled himself Regent of the Entire. But his command is fragile. He rules an empire with a technology beyond human understanding; spies lurk in the ancient Magisterium; the Tarig overlords are hamstrung but still malevolent. Worse, his daughter Sen Ni opposes him for control, believing the Earth and its Rose universe must die to sustain the failing Entire. She is aided by one of the mystical pilots of the River Nigh, the space-time transport system. This navitar, alone among all others, can alter future events. He retires into a crystal chamber in the Nigh to weave reality and pit his enemies against each other. "
Windows to the Soul (Forever Twilight) by Peter Crowther
(Subterranean 30 July 2009 / £25.09) - The second of Peter Crowther's Forever Twilight books that we're listing this month. Windows to the Soul is a signed limited edition released by Subterranean Press.
"A strange light has removed all but a handful of people from Earth and, one day later, returned the tiniest fraction of them. But these 'new' people are different. They come out only at night--and even then only with dark glasses; they wear thick gloves (whatever the temperature); and they customize mechanical equipment and vehicles to perform functions for which they were never intended. And they can kill just by the touch of their bare hands.
A group of disparate individuals embarks on a journey of revelation and horror through a deserted world... a journey that not all of them will survive. A quartet from a small-town radio station (Forever Twilight Book One: Darkness Darkness); a precognitive girl and a cuckold husband, both survivors of a plane crash; a young serial killer; and a woman who hears voices--these are the bedrock of the group so far.
But across the country--and all around the world--time is running out for mankind. Darkness is spreading across the sky from the east and the days are becoming shorter. The newcomers can spend increasingly more time out on the streets and it soon becomes clear that those spared the original cull of humanity must work hard…to save both themselves and the planet. "
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