Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nocturnal by Scott Sigler

I think that Hodder missed a trick (or treat). Scott Sigler’s Nocturnal is published on 22nd November (£7.99) and not in time for Hallowe’en.

“For centuries, their race has lived beneath the earth, emerging only at night, to feed quietly on the dregs of society and slip back into the shadows. But now their time has come – their time to rise up from their hiding places and take back what is theirs.

San Francisco homicide detective Bryan Klauser is supposed to be hunting a serial killer. But a serial killer couldn't be responsible for the seemingly impossible DNA evidence the crime-scene techs keep finding – or for the gory, strangely prophetic dreams Bryan keeps having. And what about the connections he keeps finding to a century-old cult – and his superiors' sudden reluctance to give him the answers he needs about cases that should be dead and buried?

Ultimately, Klauser's investigations will reveal a race of killers who've long lurked beneath San Francisco's streets – and are preparing to take back the city. Klauser is the only man who can stop them, because ... he might not be a man at all.”

Anomaly by Skip Brittenham and Brian Haberin. Book review.

Anomaly by Skip Brittenham (writer) and Brian Haberin (writer and artist). Anomaly Publishing $75.00

Reviewed by Peter Coleborn

Usually, when one reads a graphic novel it is comprised of chapters based on the monthly comic book. Not in this case. Anomaly is a 350-plus page comic strip without these natural pauses. And this means that one is compelled to read the whole thing in a single sitting. And that can be an exhausting experience.

It is the 28th century and Earth is depleted of all resources. And so the Earth government – rather the Conglomerate – raids and takes over other words, mostly by force. But there is one far-off planet that hasn’t succumbed and it is to here that Jon and Samantha and Jasson and others are despatched. They think they are there to discover what went wrong previously. In fact, the Conglomerate has sent these people – thorns in the company’s side – to die.

This planet is an anomaly – hence is named Anomaly. It is home to dozens of intelligent life-forms rather than the single one encountered elsewhere. And as is typical in this sort of story, the Earthmen find themselves in a multi-species conflict: the many intelligent species do not, after all, live in perfect harmony. After landing in a desert in which a virus-like organism consumes all polymer substances, the crew have to cope in the primitive world on an equal footing with the denizens of that place. And like John Carter of Mars, and no doubt in many other similar SF scenarios, Jon fights the leader of one band to take command of an army, to combat the evil Muties…

What makes this book extra special is its production values. They are impressive. Anomaly is a lavishly-presented, hefty publication. And I mean hefty: over 350 fifteen by ten inch glossy pages, bound in landscape format – wider than it is high. The book is around one inch thick; I haven’t weighed it but it is heavy! This wide format allows for some spectacular artwork, particularly apt for some of the landscapes and space-scapes depicted therein. The art is at times exquisite, although it can be difficult recognising some characters – but this is a problem with almost all non-superhero comics, anyway.

It looks as if the artwork was produced digitally rather than using traditional pen and ink, as if they are images used in a computer game; but on checking the web, it looks as if Anomaly has no connection with any computer game I could see. However, the company is tying in the book to digital media via iPhone and other apps, to provide an interactive experience. All details of this – and a whole lot more – can be found on the company’s website. Here’s what the website says about the company:

“Anomaly Productions is a cutting-edge media company launched by creators Brittenham and Haberlin. Anomaly Productions combines stunning artwork and rich stories to build deeply immersive worlds than can be experienced across multiple platforms and in a multitude of ways. Anomaly is its first release, with three other projects in various stages of production.”

If you like big-scale space opera mixed with helpings of Burroughs, Anomaly is right up your street. It is a stunning production all round, with great graphics tied in with the extras via computer apps. This is a visual treat!

The book comes in its own cardboard box which will provide storage protection because it will be a beast to fit on your bookshelves. The $75 price works out at around £50, I guess, although I have seen it advertised on the web for around £30. Anomaly is on target for the special Christmas gift.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New books from Titan

Titan Books has announced a range of attractive books, in time for the Christmas market. Here’s just a sample:

Prometheus: The Art of the Film by Mark Salisbury (£24.99): “As the only book to directly tie in to the film, this lavish title created such a demand from fans that the book was re-printed three times prior to its publication! Prometheus: The Art of the Film offers fans the opportunity to delve deeper into this epic science-fiction production. The lavish hardback includes newly revealed production art, exclusive interviews, extraordinary behind-the-scenes material and an introduction by legendary director Ridley Scott.”

Jaws- Memories From Martha’s Vineyard by Matt Taylor (£34.99): “For the first time ever, these behind-the-scenes photographs taken by residents of the island during the filming of Jaws, have been compiled into a virtual treasure trove of Jaws rarities. With a Foreword by director Steven Spielberg, interviews with production designer Joe Alves, screenwriter Carl Gottlieb, location casting director Shari Rhodes and much more, this book provides an unprecedented all-access pass to the creation of some of the most memorable and terrifying scenes in film history.”

Dinosaur Art: The World’s Greatest Paleoart (various artists) edited by Steve White (£29.99): “Featuring ten of the most prominent artists working today, Dinosaur Art: The World’s Greatest Paleoart is a blend of breathtaking artwork and cutting edge science that set the planetology blogs and science pages buzzing earlier this year!” “Bringing to life a lost world as seen through the eyes and informed imaginations of some of the greatest contemporary natural science illustrators in one volume.” –Terryl Whitlach, scientific illustrator, known for her creature designs for Star Wars.

Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration by Scott Tracey Griffin (£24.99): “Celebrating one hundred years of Tarzan, Titan Books presents the only official commemorative illustrated history of this worldwide phenomenon. In Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration, acclaimed Edgar Rice Burroughs expert Scott Tracy Griffin explores the 24 original novels and the many varied appearances on stage, screen and in print.”

Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made? by David Hughes (£9.99): “A compulsively readable journey into the area of film-making where all writers, directors and stars fear to tread: Development Hell… This in-depth tour of tinsel-town’s unmade, takes in everything from Darren Aronofsky’s Batman starring Clint Eastwood, to a John Boorman version of The Lord of the Rings featuring the Beatles. Hughes interviews the writers and directors involved to investigate these fascinating lost projects and many more.”

The Art of Assassin’s Creed III by Andy McVittie (£24.99): “Assassin’s Creed is one of the most highly-praised, beautiful and action-packed game franchises ever created and Assassin’s Creed III sees the franchise step into a brand new era, with a new assassin in a revolutionary world. Packed with never-before-seen concept art and artists’ commentary throughout, The Art of Assassin’s Creed III is an exclusive hardback title exploring the vision and development of the game, Assassin’s Creed III.”

The Return Man by V M Zito

The Return Man by V M Zito is due in November from Hodder (£7.99).

“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.”

From Hell to Eternity by Thana Niveau

From Hell to Eternity by Thana Niveau is part of the Gray Friar Press’ New Blood series, and now available (£8.99).

“From Hell... Where shadows speak from the depths of a haunted sea. Where a little girl’s obsession conjures a terrible bogeyman. Where a woman’s body becomes her own worst enemy.

... To Eternity: Where familiar places harbour ancient evil. Where a dinner party descends into blood, sex, madness and death. Where a camera can steal more than your very soul.”

The collection includes an introduction by Ramsey Campbell.

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country (Gollancz £16.99) is now available:

“The past never stays buried.

Shy South comes home to her farm to find a blackened shell; er brother and sister have been stolen and she’s going to have to return to her bad old ways if she’s ever going to see them again.

The journey takes them across the lawless plains, to a frontier town gripped by gold fever … and high into unmapped mountains to a reckoning with ancient enemies…”

Para Imminence: Stories of the Future of Wraeththu

New from Immanion Press: Para Imminence: Stories of the Future of Wraeththu, edited by Storm Constantine and Wendy Darling:

“The androgynous and mysterious Wraeththu have risen to replace humanity upon a ravaged world. Is it inevitable they will forget the mistakes of the past wrought by their human ancestors or will they truly evolve to become the guardian, sentient race this Earth deserves?

Based on the world created by Storm Constantine for her Wraeththu novels, the stories in this collection explore different aspects of Wraeththu’s possible future. Whether that is leaving the earthly realm to explore the uncharted reaches of the multiverse via the Otherlanes, raising the ancient lost continents of humanity’s myths and legends, surfing the psychic equivalent of the Internet, coming to terms with their race’s human past, or simply revisiting earlier territory where pain and disappointment might still lurk, Para Imminence offers a compendium of visions of the future of harakind."

Features stories by Storm Constantine, Wendy Darling, Martina Bellovičová, Andy Bigwood, Victoria Copus, Suzanne Gabriel, Fiona Lane, Maria J Leel, Martina Luise Pachali, Daniela Ritter and E S Wynn.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hellblazer: The Devil's Trench Coat

One of my favourite comic books, Hellblazer,  sees a new graphic novel out now from Vertigo ($16.99). The Devil's Trench Coat collects issues 283 to 291 of the monthly comic. The two stories, "The Devil's Trench Coat" and "Another Season in Hell" are written by Peter Milligan, with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Stefano Landini. In the first story, Constantine's old, foul-smelling trench coat assumes a life of its own, with bloody consequences (aren't most of Constantine's action coloured with blood?). And in the second tale the anti-hero revisits hell, to rescue a lost soul. And once more he pits wits against the various demons he encounters.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers

The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers, a new Zamonia novel, is published next month (Harvill Secker £20.00). This edition was translated from the German by John Brownjohn. The book is embellished with many cartoons by the author.

“Over two hundred years ago Bookholm, the City of Dreaming Books, was destroyed by a catastrophic firestorm. Optimus Yarnspinner, who witnessed this disaster, has since become Zamonia's greatest writer and is resting on his laurels at Lindworm Castle. Spoilt by his monumental success and basking in adulation, he one day receives a disturbing message that finally reinvests his life with meaning: a cryptic missive that lures him back to Bookholm.

Rebuilt on a magnificent scale, the city is once more a vibrant literary metropolis and Mecca of the book trade teeming with book fanatics of all kinds. On the track of the mysterious letter that brought him there, Yarnspinner has scarcely set foot in the city before he falls prey to its spirit of adventure. He is reunited with old friends like Inazia Anazazi the Uggly and Ahmed ben Kibitzer the Nocturnomath, but he also encounters the city's new marvels, which include the mysterious Biblionauts, the warring Puppetists, and the city's latest craze, the Invisible Theatre.”

The Screaming Book of Horror edited by Johnny Mains

The Screaming Book of Horror edited by Johnny Mains is available in hardcover from Screaming Dreams (£20.00)

This anthology should remind you of a time “when horror books didn’t try to be overly literary or snobbish or superior in tone. The tales inside will take you back to when your stomach took the occasional lurch. This is a horror anthology in the tradition of the anthologies we all grew up with.”

There are 21 stories in this lovely looking tome, including tales by John Llewellyn Probert, John Brunner, Alison Littlewood, Paul Finch, Rhys Hughes, Alison Moore, Reginald Oliver, David A Riley, Steve Rasnic Tem, John Burke, Christopher Fowler and Charlie Higson.

The Pit of Despair by Simon R Green

The Pit of Despair is the new novella by Simon R Green (PS Publishing £11.99):

“Captain Varles, of the pirate ship Revenge, is desperate to find a treasure big enough to pay off all his debts. His last venture didn’t work out too well; he lost his whole crew to the ghouls of Ravensbrook. He sailed home on an empty ship, accompanied only by his female first mate Jarryl, and the enigmatic sorcerer Shade, called by some the Hanged Man.

Port Crimson is the only settlement on Paradyce Island, where the ancient rules and traditions of the Red Brotherhood apply. Unable to find a crew there willing to ship out with him, Varles persuades a voodoo witch called Mother Macabre to conjure up a crew of ghosts and dead men to sail in search of the greatest treasure of all — that of Captain Firebeard; who buried his legendary hoard in the great and terrible Pit he dug on Shaft Island ... which he left surrounded by terrible protections. But Varles’ old enemy, Captain Shatterhand, of the pirate ship Medusa, is also after the treasure. So the race is on; and the devil take the hindmost.”

Sex, Lies and Family Ties

The Alchemy Press's Sex, Lies and Family Ties by Sarah J Graham is now available for the Kindle via Amazon UK and Amazon US.

New Gaiman book on its way

Headline has acquired UK rights for The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Personally, I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Forests of Eden by Elizabeth Counihan

UK independent publisher, PS, releases novels, anthologies, collections and novellas in handsome productions. One of their latest is a novella from Elizabeth Couniham: Forests of Eden is subtitled A Science Fiction Romance (PS Publishing £11.99).

“Earth is fog-shrouded, the Amazon rainforest a desert. Sir Barrington Monroe III, Knight Commander of the Terran Legion of Honour, Fellow of the Solarian Order, is the richest man in the inhabited worlds.

Not surprising, as from its base in the Alpha system, the Monroe Corporation has total control of tachyferite, the only substance to emit faster than light signals.

But Monroe is hiding a deadly secret, a secret that has ruined another man’s life and it’s up to a young journalist to uncover the truth. To do this he must brave personal threats and corporate intrigue and eventually centuries of star travel with one embittered companion. Then, on a new, unblemished world he makes a decision which will change both their lives.”

Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback edited by Stephen Jones

Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback, edited (created) by Stephen Jones (Robinson £8.99) is the follow up to 2010’s highly successful Zombies Apocalypse. Both are portmanteau novels rather than an anthology of short stories, involving a host of horror stars, including Christopher Fowler, Reggie Oliver, Guy Adams, Sarah Pinborough, Peter Crowther, Lisa Tuttle and Nancy Holder.

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself … and zombies! Following the outbreak of Human Reanimation Virus — more commonly referred to as 'The Death' — from a hidden crypt beneath a south London church, the centuries-old plague quickly spreads throughout the world, turning its victims into flesh-eating zombies. As we learn more about the mysterious Thomas Moreby — 'Patient Zero' — the surviving members of the human race begin their fightback against the legions of the walking dead, and the Infected themselves are mutating into something ... different. Told through interconnected eyewitness accounts — emails, text messages, reports, diaries, found video footage and graphic adaptations — the remnants of humanity battle to survive in a world gone mad.”

Best New Horror edited by Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones’s essential annual, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, volume 23 (Robinson £7.99) hits the bookshops in a week or so.

The publisher states: “The year's best, and darkest, tales of terror, showcasing the most outstanding new short stories by both contemporary masters of the macabre and exciting newcomers. As ever, this acclaimed anthology also offers a comprehensive overview of the year in horror, a necrology of recently deceased luminaries, and a list of indispensable addresses horror fans and writers.”

Can’t argue with the above. In this year’s issue you’ll encounter 26 stories, including tales by Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Tim Lebbon, Alison Littlewood, Peter Atkins, Joan Aiken, Michael Marshall Smith, Robert Silverberg and Evangeline Walton. As usual, editor Jones includes a detailed introduction to horror in 2011, plus a necrology by Jones and Kim Newman. Stephen Jones picks from both the small press and mainstream, ensuring a selection of the very best. 

Pandaemonium by Ben Macallan

Chaz Brenchley’s alter ego Ben Macallan has a new book out later this month: Pandaemonium (Solaris £7.99).

“Desdæmona's done a bad, bad thing. A thing so, so terrible that she has to run away from the consequences. Again.

Where better to look for shelter than with the boy she was running from before? But trouble follows. And if it's not Jacey's parents who sent the deadly crow-men, the Twa Corbies, in chase of her, then who is it?

Deep under London, among the lost and rejected of two worlds, answers begin to emerge from Desi's hidden past. Answers that send her north in a flight that turns to a hunt, with strange companions and stranger prey. Dangers lie ahead and behind; inconvenient passion lays traps for her, just when she needs a clear head; at the last, even Desi has to beg for help. From one who has more cause than most to want her dead...”

The Soddit by A.R.R.R. Roberts

“Following Bored of the Rings comes the equally irreverent parody of Tolkien's other (and much, much shorter) masterwork, The Hobbit.

Bingo Sac Grabbins is asked by the coughing wizard Gandef and some (oddly Welsh) dwarves to help them relieve the great dragon Smug of his gold.

SF author and Tolkien scholar Adam Roberts has written a parody [w]ith knowing digs at the fantasy genre in general and the mystique that has built around Middle Earth in particular.”

The Soddit by A.R.R.R. Roberts is published by Gollancz in hardcover (£8.99), originally released in 2003. Is there any connect to the new Hobbit movie?

The Christmas Spirits by Whitley Strieber

“George Moore is a modern day Scrooge, a futures trader who drives his staff hard, and won't let his assistant go home to look after her autistic son on Christmas Eve.

Like Scrooge, he is mean with money, but he is also mean with his sympathies and his time. He has to swerve to avoid putting money in a charity box and also crosses the road to avoid a family he thinks are probably gypsies on his way to dinner at a cheap cafeteria. An old man sitting nearby looks as if he might be looking for the warmth of some human contact. George refuses to meet his eye and hurries home.

Various slightly odd, even disconcerting things happen. He encounters a nun who looks like an elderly child. He sees a Santa in the window of a department store, who seems to emerge from his Grotto, look confused, and is then surrounded by small elf-like figures who drag him back behind the curtains. Finally, when he arrives back in his apartment the old man from the cafeteria suddenly appears and reveals himself as George's old mentor in trading and in greed. Bill Hill reveals that he is dead and that he has come to give George a warning. He warns George he will have three visitors that night, and then in a flash he disappears…”

What else but The Christmas Spirits by Whitley Strieber (Coronet £12.99), published in a few days, just in time for the Xmas market.

The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen

From Mulholland Books later this month: The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen (£8.99):

“The future will be perfect. No hate, no hunger, no war. Zed knows because he’s seen it. He’s from there. His mission is to ensure that history happens exactly as it’s meant to. Even the terrible events. Even the one that’s about to happen, the one that will destroy our civilisation for good.

In present-day Washington, Zed watches as people go about their daily lives. People like Leo, a disgraced former spy; Tasha, a lawyer grieving for a brother killed in action in Iraq; Sari, the downtrodden employee of a foreign diplomat. Unlike Zed, they have no idea what difference their choices will make.

The clock is ticking. But Zed has doubts. What are his superiors not telling him? What truths has he hidden from himself? And, as he becomes more entangled in the lives of those around him, will he be able to sacrifice their present for his future?”

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Alchemy Press announces three new anthologies

The Alchemy Press has announced three new anthologies, to be published in 2013. The submission guidelines can be found by visiting the books' individual pages:

The Alchemy Press Book of Astrologica

The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes volume 2

The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic

These are open markets, albeit with nominal payment. But if you want your best work showcased in fine-looking books, send us your best stories.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Middle Kingdom by David Wingrove: book review

The Middle Kingdom (Chung Kuo Book 3) by David Wingrove. Corvus £18.99

Reviewed by John Howard

David Wingrove’s Chung Kuo originally appeared in eight large volumes between 1989 and 1997. A decade or so later Wingrove embarked on the large scale project of ‘recasting’ the entire series, revising and enlarging it across an epic twenty not quite so large volumes. The first two books, Son of Heaven and Daylight on Iron Mountain, appeared in 2011 and contained all new material and formed an extended prologue to the main sequence. They set the scene and got us from here to there: from some thirty years hence to 2098, by which time the foundations for the Han Chinese-dominated new world order of Chung Kuo have been well and truly made, literally driven into the soil of the Earth.

The Middle Kingdom is a revised and expanded version of the first half of the original first volume (also called The Middle Kingdom) of Wingrove’s first excursion into Chung Kuo. Nearly one hundred years after the prologue volumes, as the twenty-second century is about to dawn, the world’s Han rulers – the Seven T’ang – maintain the same purpose as they ever did: a unified world, a utopia of peace and stability for all. On their terms, of course.

The vast majority of the world’s population of forty billion lives in the Cities: pre-fabricated stacked hives nearly a mile high that span continents. Most of Asia is a farm. The Cities’ inhabitants rise – and fall – through the hundreds of levels depending on their position in the new society and their attitude to it. Hard work and obedience can be rewarded; mistakes and disobedience can lead to banishment: removal to levels below. Towards the bottom of the teeming Cities are the Lowers: the Net, the first few levels above the floor, where life is hard and precarious enough. But below that, sealed away from the Above, out of sight and mostly out of mind, lies the Clay: the devastated surface of the planet, left in ruins and almost total darkness. Yet people still live in the Clay: feral tribes, the descendants of those excluded from the Cities and who survived and turned into a true underclass and in effect became a separate race. (Any analogy with Wells’ Morlocks would not be at all accurate.) There are also a few who prefer the anarchy and constant danger of a life, of sorts, under the floor.

The rulers of the world intend to ensure that permanent peace and stability is achieved through the virtual elimination of change, the systematic obliteration of all traces of the past – including the rewriting of history – and by strengthening further their iron controlling grip on all aspects of everyone’s life – all those in the Cities, that is. The Edict of Technological Control was promulgated in order to monitor and regulate all technological development, and to stamp on anything that threatened the new order planned for the next ten millennia (at least). But of course change can’t be entirely stopped and crushed by the force of an edict, no matter how all-powerful the rulers and their enforcers are. When the Minister in charge of the Edict is assassinated, suspicion falls on a number of high and well-connected people. Their loyalty and commitment to the system of New Confucianism comes under scrutiny, with conspiracy and counter-conspiracy blossoming as members of the ruling families fight to maintain continuity – and their rights of succession – and prevent their grip on the world from loosening. They will do anything to stop the dreaded spectre of change – chaos, to them – being let loose again.

Wingrove’s approach continues to be necessarily widescreen, with a cast of characters ranging from the most privileged to those scrabbling in the darkness of the Clay, from mere talking heads and execution-fodder to those with lives and motivations explored in some depth. From now on in it seems clear that the end of each volume will provide a sort of pause for breath rather than a conclusion, and many of the characters to be introduced in each volume will appear and re-appear, allowing the story to unwind and spread over the great space allotted to it, pushing out against its bounds as the inhabitants of the sprawling Cities press on each other and against the walls, floors, and ceilings that keep them in place. The main cast now seems to be assembled for the struggle ahead, although there will no doubt be unexpected deaths and betrayals, new developments and the intrusion of the unplanned to disturb the rulers’ dream of ten thousand years of their version of peace. A civil war of planetary dimensions seems in the offing, with those who resent the suffocation of their current situation lined up against the Han ‘establishment’. It might seem that nothing can withstand the weight of the new order, but…

As with the previous books, The Middle Kingdom moves along at an exhilarating pace. By turns portraying a world alien and mundane, brutal and sentimental, the scale continues to range from the tremendous and remote to the intimate and deeply personal. It’s still too early to tell how David Wingrove’s new version of the Chung Kuo future history will turn out – surely there are new developments in this recasting, surprises in store – but it seems set to be a roller-coaster ride that it will be impossible to leave until the author is done with it. 

Hair Side, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall

Published in November by ChiZine: Hair Side, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall ($16.95):

“A child receives the body of Saint Lucia of Syracuse for her seventh birthday. A rebelling angel rewrites the Book of Judgement to protect the woman he loves. A young woman discovers the lost manuscript of Jane Austen written on the inside of her skin. A 747 populated by a dying pantheon makes the extraordinary journey to the beginning of the universe.

Lyrical and tender, quirky and cutting, Helen Marshall’s exceptional debut collection weaves the fantastic and the horrific alongside the touchingly human in fifteen modern parables about history, memory, and cost of creating art.”

I picked up a copy at FantasyCon and my initial thoughts are: Wow! This is wonderful stuff. Rob Shearman says so, too, in his introduction.

Black Light by Melton, Dunstan & Romano

Out very soon: Black Light by Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan & Stephen Romano (writers of the Saw franchise; Mulholland £8.99):

“If you have a supernatural problem that won't go away, you need Buck Carlsbad: private eye, exorcist, and last resort. Buck's got a way with spirits that no one else can match, and a lot of questions that only spirits can answer. 

Buck has spent years looking deep into the Blacklight on the other side of death, trying to piece together the mystery that destroyed his family and left him for dead. It's dangerous, but it's his only hope of finding out what happened to them - and what made him the way he is. But then Buck takes a call from a billionaire, and finds himself working the most harrowing case of his career. One that will either reveal the shocking secrets of his life, or end it forever...”

Osama -- book launch

The official launch for Osama by Lavie Tidhar (Solaris £7.99) takes place in the Gallery, Third Floor, Foyles Bookshop, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB. It’s free, but you need to reserve your ticket by emailing events@foyles.co.uk.

“The events of 9/11 seemed to alter the world so radically that portraying them in fiction felt almost impossible. Israeli-born author Tidhar, already a controversial and outspoken voice, has risen to the challenge with his alternate-reality novel Osama. Lavie will be in conversation with Sophia McDougall to discuss the novel, and how 9/11 and the figure of Bin Laden have shifted our perspective on the world and how fiction can respond to it, in what promises to be a fascinating and thought-provoking evening.”