Saturday, March 31, 2012

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Harper Voyager £7.99) is being likened to George R R Martin: “The British answer to Game of Thrones.”  This is Lawrence’s debut novel, the first in a trilogy that “tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood, and paints a compelling and brutal picture of an exceptional boy on his journey towards manhood and the throne.”

Mark Lawrence is a research scientist by day, working in the field of artificial intelligence. He has been known to say that it is rocket science. I’m not sure what “it” is…

Asbury Park by Rob Scott

Rob Scott’s latest, Asbury Park, is now available from Gollancz (£14.99):

“Ten weeks ago, homicide detective Sailor Doyle worked his first solo case, a gruesome double murder in a remote farmhouse in Virginia. And then things turned very nasty for him…

… Now Sailor is having nightmares about his previous case, and when he starts seeing things, he realises that once again he’s being guided to the truth … even if it’s not what he wants to hear.”

Rob Scott is the author of 15 Miles, was born in New York, and now lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

Recent and forthcoming books…

Kristin Cashore – Bitterblue – Gollancz £12.99: “The long-awaited companion to the bestsellers Graceling and Fire.”
A J Dalton – Empire of the Saviours – Gollancz £18.99/£14.99: “The People are forced to live in fortified towns, guarded by an army of heroes, whose task is to keep out the marauding pagans…”
Janet Edwards – Earth Girl – Harper Voyager £7.99:  “Living on Earth is a life sentence…”
Johan Harstad – 172 Hours on the Moon – Atom £6.99: “There’s a reason we never went back to the Moon.” First published in Norway in 2008.
Robin Hobb – City of Dragons – Harper Voyager £20.00: Book 3 of The Rain Wild Chronicles.
Hillary Jordan – When She Woke – Harper Collins £12.99: “When she woke she was read. Not flushed, not sunburned, but the solid, declarative red of a stop sign.”
Mark Lawrence – Prince of Thorns – Harper Voyager £7.99:  “The thorns taught him a lesson in blood.” Volume 1 of The Broken Empire.
George R R Martin – A Dance with Dragons – Book 1: Dreams and Dust and Book 2 After the Feast – Harper Voyager £8.99 each: The fifth part of A Song of Ice and Fire – “The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.”
Rob Scott – Asbury Park – Gollancz £14.99: “The dead will be avenged” – supernatural thriller
James Smythe – The Testimony – Harper Collins £12.99: “My children, do not be afraid – the world on the brink of despair and destruction.”

The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders

The Alchemy Press is seeking submissions for THE ALCHEMY PRESS BOOK OF ANCIENT WONDERS edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber.

Standing stones, burial mounds, ruined castles or sunken settlements, the ancient sites that litter our landscapes have a mysterious appeal which cannot be denied. Think myth come to life; old folk tales updated; the consequences of tomb raiding; hidden guardians and secret civilisations; from archaeology to tourism; mysticism and myth; folklore to the fantastical. Take us on a journey around the esoteric and enigmatic places that cannot fail to fire the imagination. Intrigue us, thrill us, make us wonder about the where, the what and the who. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes

The Alchemy Press is seeking submissions for THE ALCHEMY BOOK OF PULP HEROES. Edited by Mike Chinn.

The Shadow, The Bat, Doc Savage, The Spider; Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Detective Agency; Dusty Ayers & His Battle Birds; Sheena and K-Zar. Hard-boiled detectives, sinister vigilantes, bizarre villains – the staple of the Pulp tradition. We want fiction that celebrates (or subverts) that tradition – as well as taking a wild new look at it. Fiction set in the 1930s and 40s, the far future or mythical past, or the present day. Two-fisted heroes – and heroines – fighting for right and justice in the midnight city, foetid jungles or exotic, far-flung lands. Deranged villains for whom the world is never enough. Continue reading here.

Dead Rules by R S Russell

Dead Rules by R S Russell is now available from Quercus (£6.99). It says on the cover: “She loved her boyfriend to death,” and: “Sometimes falling in love means you have to kill somebody…”  

Jana and Michael are lovers, the perfect couple. But Jana dies and “… finds herself torn from Michael and transferred to Dead School… [There she meets] Mars Dreamcote, gorgeous and beguiling and mysterious…”

Dead Rules is aimed at a 12-plus readership, Randy Russell is an Edgar-nominated author who lives in North Carolina, and has written about Southern Appalachian folklore.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nocturnal by Scott Sigler

Nocturnal by Scott Sigler is published in April by Hodder and Stoughton (£12.99). The tag line is “Think twice before you go out tonight.”

“Their race has lived beneath the earth for centuries. They emerge only at night, to feed on the dregs of humanity, before slipping back into the shadows. But now their time has come – time to rise up from their hiding place and take back what is theirs.” 

Nocturnal is about Bryan Klauser, a homicide detective in San Francisco, on the hunt for a serial killer. He discovers a centuries-old cult, strange DNA evidence, and obstructive superiors...

Irenicon by Aidan Harte

Irenicon by Aidan Harte, the first volume of The Wave Trilogy, is published in April by Jo Fletcher Books (£18.99).

The series is set in an alternate Renaissance Italy, where the artificial river Irenicon is a constant reminder that nothing stands in the way of the Concordian. Irenicon was “created by the Wave … and runs uphill. But the Wave is both weapon and mystery; not even the Concordians know how the river became conscious – and hostile.”

Aidan Harte was born in Kilkenny and studied sculpture at the Florence Academy of Art. He currently works in Dublin.

The Arthur C Clarke Award

The shortlist for the 2012 Arthur C Clarke Award is: 
  • Greg Bear - Hull Zero Three (Gollancz)
  • Drew Magary - The End Specialist (Harper Voyager)
  • China MiĆ©ville - Embassytown (Macmillan)
  • Jane Rogers - The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone Press)
  • Charles Stross - Rule 34 (Orbit)
  • Sheri S. Tepper - The Waters Rising (Gollancz)
 The award will be presented on 2 May. The recipient receives a cheque for £2012.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Recent and forthcoming books

Al Ewing – Pax Omega (A Pax Britannia Book) Abaddon £7.99
Aidan Harte – Irenicon (Book 1 of The Wave Trilogy) Jo Fletcher Books £18.99
Stephen King – The Wind Through the Keyhole (A Dark Tower Novel) Hodder £19.99
David Logan – Half-Sick of Shadows (joint winner of the Terry Pratchett Prize) Doubleday £14.99
Michael Logan – Apocalypse Cow (joint winner of the Terry Pratchett Prize) Doubleday £14.99
R S Russell – Dead Rules (“She loved her boyfriend to death”) Quercus £6.99
Scott Sigler – Nocturnal (“Think twice before you go out tonight”) Hodder £12.99

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

Volume 4.5 of Stephen King’s Dark Tower sequence is published in April by Hodder & Stoughton (£19.99).

In his introduction, King numbers it volume four-and-a-half due to it’s position in the Gunslinger’s saga. The Wind Through the Keyhole follows the adventures of Roland Deschain and his band of companions – the ka-tet – as they continue their search for the Dark Tower. The Wind Through the Keyhole is “a story within a story, within yet another. For as Roland is telling his companions the story about himself when he was young, the young Roland is telling another boy a story, too...”

This edition includes some lovely illustrations by Jae Lee. I wish more publishers would similarly embellish their publications.

Half-Sick of Shadows by David Logan

There were two joint winners of the Terry Pratchett “Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize”: Apocalypse Cow and by Michael Logan and Half-Sick of Shadows by David Logan (they are not related, we are assured).

Half-Sick of Shadows is published by Doubleday in May at £14.99. David Logan comes from Ireland, has a BA in English Literature and Language, and has run his own magazine.

“On the eve of Granny Hazel’s burial in the back garden, a stranger in his time machine – one that bears an uncanny resemblance to a Morris Minor – visits five year-old Edward with a strange request… Time waits for no man, and yet it came back for Edward.”

Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan

Yes, it’s true: Apocalypse Cow is the title of Michael Logan’s new novel (due in May from Doubleday, £14.99). It is the joint winner of the Terry Pratchett “Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize”. Pratchett said: “Apocalypse Cow made me snort with laughter.”

The writer is a journalist who has worked in Bosnia, Tajikstan, Kenya, Sudan and Somalia. Apocalypse Cow is his first novel.

“When scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash and experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain’s animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation…Forget the cud, they want blood.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Supernatural Tales 21

Supernatural Tales 21 – the summer 2012 issue – is now available. This smart-looking chapbook, edited by David Longhorn, contains eight stories including two by Steve Rasnic Tem and Steve Duffy.  For more details, visit their website.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris' new Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Reckoning, is out on Gollancz (£7.99).

"Sookie has a knack for being in trouble's way, not least when she witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's. the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is known to be a shape shifter, suspicion falls on the anti-shifters. But Sookie suspects otherwise. Before she can investigate, something else -- something even more dangerous -- comes up."

Blackout by Connie Willis

"Oxford in 2060, and Mr Dunworthy's time travel lab is a chaotic place, sending scores of historians to the Crusades, to Rome, and to World War II...

When Michael, Merope and Polly reach their destinations they discover that no amount of study could have prepared them for the reality of daily life in World War II. It's not just the incessant air raids, the blackouts and frightful rations; the once-reliable mechanics of time travel are showing significant glitches ... and everything is spiralling out of control."

Blackout by Connie Willis is out soon on Gollancz for £8.99. Her companion volume All Clear will also see publication by Gollancz.

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

Coming in April 2012: The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King -- A Dark Tower Novel -- published by Hodder & Stoughton (£19.99).  It will also be available as an eBook and an audio-book, read by the author.

"Roland Deschain, Mid-World's last gunslinger and his small band of misfit warriors have crossed the desert following the Path of the Beam, searching for the Dark Tower. Now they have reached a run-down battered ferry. Old Bix, the ancient Ferryman, hasn't had customers for longer than he can remember...

The Wind Through the Keyhole is a story within a story within yet another. For as Roland is telling the story about himself when he was younger, the young Roland in his tale is telling another..."

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Paladin Mandates - revised edition

The updated edition of Mike Chinn's The Paladin Mandates is now available as an eBook – specifically as a Kindle book and

Mixing generous dollops of The Scorpion, The Shadow and Dominic Fortune, with a fascination for old airplanes, a taste for '30s detective fiction ... enter Damian Paladin, ghost hunter, supernatural sleuth. This revised edition features seven Paladin stories including a brand new tale, “There’ll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight”.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Mammoth Book of Body Horror

In his introduction to The Mammoth Book of Body Horror (edited by Paul Kane & Marie O’Regan [Robinson £7.99]), Stuart Gordon reminds us that “Body Horror” is not about the dead, it’s about your body malfunctioning, becoming different. Your body rebels against itself. See this in movies such as Shivers, The Human Centipede and The Fly.

But we’re in Literature Land here. We’re dealing with prose, short stories. The MBO Body Horror collects 25 tales by folk ranging from Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe and H P Lovecraft through to Clive Barker, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Neil Gaiman, Nancy A Collins, Brian Lumley and Michael Marshall Smith (and more).

It does as it says on the cover: “25 horrific tales of transformation, mutation and contagion.”

New and Forthcoming Books

Charlaine Harris – Dead Reckoning (A Sookie Stackhouse novel) Gollancz £7.99

Paul Kane & Marie O’Regan – The Mammoth Book of Body Horror (“25 stories of transformation, mutation and contagion”) Robinson £7.99

Gareth Roberts – Doctor Who: Shada (“The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams”) BBC Books £16.99

Sam Sykes – Black Halo (The Aeons Gate book two) Gollancz £9.99

Connie Willis – Blackout (Time travel and World War II) Gollancz £8.99

Westview Writers' Workshop

Weekend Residential Course

Are you a writer looking to take the next step towards publication? Or you need a helping hand with your story or novel. Our weekend workshop could be the answer. So join us at Westview Guesthouse, for a weekend of writing – stretching the imagination – just a few minutes from Hay-on-Wye, the town that is built on books.

The course is on 18-20 May with tutors Peter Coleborn from Alchemy Press and Jan Edwards from Oldhaven Books. The course is all inclusive with accommodation, meals and tuition over the weekend.

Please pre-submit up to 2000 words of fiction (a short story or the start of your novel; no poetry), should you wish, for one-to-one feedback on Friday evening.

Check out the website for full details. It's only a click away.

Doctor Who: Shada

Released next week: Doctor Who: Shada (BBC Books £16.99) is Douglas Adams’ Lost Adventure, completed /novelised by Gareth Roberts.

“The Doctor’s old friend and fellow Time Lord Professor Chronotis has retired to Cambridge University – where nobody will notice if he lives for centuries. But now he needs help from the Doctor, Romana and K-9. When he left Gallifrey he took with him a few little souvenirs – most of them harmless. But one of them is extremely dangerous.”

This novel is based on the scripts by Adams, but never made it to the screen. It features the fourth Doctor – played by Tom Baker.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Plague Town by Dana Fredsti

“In the small university town of Redwood Grove, people are succumbing to a lethal strain of flu. They are dying—but not for long. Ashley Parker and her boyfriend are attacked by these shambling, rotting creatures that crave human flesh. Their lives will never be the same again.

When she awakes Ashley discovers that she is a ‘wild card’ — immune to the virus — and is recruited by a shadowy paramilitary organization that offers her the chance to fight back. As the town falls to ever-growing numbers of the infected, Ashley and her team fight to contain the outbreak — but will they be enough?”

Plague Town (an Ashley Parker novel), by Dana Fredsti, is published by Titan in April.

New and forthcoming books

Paul Finch – Dark North (Malory’s Knights of Albion) Abaddon £7.99

Charlaine Harris & Toni L P Kelner, editors – Home Improvement: Undead Edition (Anthology including a new Sookie Stackhouse story.) Jo Fletcher Books £16.99

Karen Lord – Redemption in Indigo (“A retelling of a Senegalese legend.”) Jo Fletcher Books £8.99

James Lovegrove – Age of Aztec (Part of The Pantheon Series) Solaris £7.99

Steve Rasnic Tem – Deadfall Hotel (“The hotel where our nightmares go…”) Solaris £7.99

V M Zito – The Return Man (“Civilisation’s gone. He’s stayed to bury the Dead.”) Hodder & Stoughton £11.99

The Return Man by V M Zito

The Return Man by V M Zito is scheduled for publication at the end of March (Hodder & Stoughton £11.99). This story apparently began as a serial on the author’s website – and is now optioned for the movies.

“Before the outbreak, Henry Marco was a doctor, doing his utmost to save lives. Now his job is to end them… The Outbreak tore the USA in two. The East remains a safe haven. The West has become a ravaged wilderness. They call it The Evacuated States… Civilisation’s gone. He’s stayed to bury the Dead.”

Home Improvements: Undead Edition

Home Improvement: Undead Edition, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L P Kelner, sees publication later this month from Jo Fletcher Books at £16.99. The book features fourteen stories all original to this anthology, including a new Sookie Stackhouse tale. Authors include Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Melissa Mar, S J Rozan, Suzanne McLeod and Simon R Green.

“There’s nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or otherworldly portals in the parlour… And when you add in a hefty dose of the supernatural, the normal, everyday challenges of home DIY become even more hazardous!”

Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem

Steve Rasnic Tem’s latest from Solaris is Deadfall Hotel (due in a month or so at £7.99).

“This is the hotel where our nightmares go… It’s where horrors come to be themselves, and the dead pause to rest between worlds. Richard Carter finds a new job, and a new life for him and his daughter, as manager of the mysterious Deadfall Hotel. Jacob Ascher, the caretaker, is there to show Richard the ropes, and to tell him the many rules and traditions, but from the beginning their new world haunts and transforms them.”

Monday, March 5, 2012

Queen Victoria's Book of Spells

Ellen Datlow has announced the ToC for Queen Victoria's Book of Spells edited by Datlow and Terri Windling, and due from Tor (probably later this year):

The Fairy Enterprise by Jeffrey Ford
From the Catalogue of the Pavilion of the Uncanny and Marvelous, Scheduled for Premiere at the Great Exhibition (Before the Fire) by Genevieve Valentine
The Memory Book by Maureen McHugh
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells by Delia Sherman
La Reine D’Enfer by Kathe Koja
For the Briar Rose by Elizabeth Wein
The Governess by Elizabeth Bear
Smithfield by James P. Blaylock
The Unwanted Women of Surrey by Kaaron Warren
Charged by Leanna Renee Hieber
Mr. Splitfoot by Dale Bailey
Phosphorus by Veronica Schanoes
We Without Us Were Shadows by Catherynne M. Valente
The Vital Importance of the Superficial by Ellen Kushner and Caroline Stevermer
The Jewel in the Toad Queen’s Crown by Jane Yolen
A Few Twigs He Left Behind by Gregory Maguire
Their Monstrous Minds by Tanith Lee
Estella Saves the Village by Theodora Goss

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mammoth eBooks...

A number of Stephen Jones anthologies are available as eBooks -- including the Mammoth Books Of... published by Constable & Robinson. Their website is rather sketchy on details, including price information. It appears that some are free and at least one is priced at £6.12.