Thursday, August 15, 2013

The 2013 World Fantasy Awards

The 2013 World Fantasy Awards Final Ballot nominees have been announced:

  • The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce (Gollancz; Doubleday)
  • The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
  • Crandolin, Anna Tambour (Chômu)
  • Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson (Grove; Corvus)
  • ‘‘Hand of Glory’’, Laird Barron (The Book of Cthulhu II)
  • ‘‘Let Maps to Others’’, K.J. Parker (Subterranean Summer 2012)
  • “The Emperor’s Soul”, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon)
  • ‘‘The Skull’’, Lucius Shepard (The Dragon Griaule)
  • ‘‘Sky’’, Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls)
  • ‘‘The Telling’’, Gregory Norman Bossert (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 11/29/12)
  • ‘‘A Natural History of Autumn’’, Jeffrey Ford (F&SF 7-8/12)
  • ‘‘The Castle That Jack Built’’, Emily Gilman (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 1/26/12)
  • ‘‘Breaking the Frame’’, Kat Howard (Lightspeed 8/12)
  • ‘‘Swift, Brutal Retaliation’’, Meghan McCarron ( 1/4/12) 
  • Epic: Legends of Fantasy, John Joseph Adams, ed. (Tachyon)
  • Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic, Eduardo Jiménez Mayo & Chris N. Brown, eds. (Small Beer)
  • Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane, Jonathan Oliver, ed. (Solaris)
  • Postscripts #28/#29: Exotic Gothic 4, Danel Olson, ed. (PS Publishing)
  • Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Random House)

  • At the Mouth of the River of Bees, Kij Johnson (Small Beer)
  • Where Furnaces Burn, Joel Lane (PS Publishing)
  • The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories Volume One: Where on Earth and Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands, Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)
  • Remember Why You Fear Me, Robert Shearman (ChiZine)
  • Jagannath, Karin Tidbeck (Cheeky Frawg)
  • Vincent Chong
  • Didier Graffet & Dave Senior
  • Kathleen Jennings
  • J.K. Potter
  • Chris Roberts
  • Peter Crowther & Nicky Crowther for PS Publishing
  • Lucia Graves for the translation of The Prisoner of Heaven (Weidenfeld & Nicholson; Harper) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Adam Mills, Ann VanderMeer, & Jeff VanderMeer for Weird Fiction Review website
  • Brett Alexander Savory & Sandra Kasturi for ChiZine Publications
  • William K. Schafer for Subterranean Press
  • Scott H. Andrews for Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • L. Timmel Duchamp for Aqueduct Press
  • S.T. Joshi for Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, Volumes 1 & 2 (PS Publishing)
  • Charles A. Tan for Bibliophile Stalker blog
  • Jerad Walters for Centipede Press
  • Joseph Wrzos for Hannes Bok: A Life in Illustration (Centipede Press)
 Award already announced: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
  • Susan Cooper
  • Tanith Lee

Friday, August 9, 2013

New Alchemy Press website

The Alchemy Press, publisher of The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders and The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes has a new home. It's here.

Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos: Endgame

The latest Judge Dredd graphic novel, Day of Chaos: Endgame by John Wagner, Leigh Gallagher, Henry Flint, Ben Willsher, Colin MacNeil and Edmund Bagwell is available from 2000AD for £17.99.

Gallow: The Crimson Shield by Nathan Hawke

It says that “Fantasy needs a new hero”. Book one in a new series, Gallow: The Crimson Shield by Nathan Hawke is out now from Gollancz (£7.99). For some odd reason they neglected to put any text on the front cover.

“I have been Truesword to my friends, Griefbringer to my enemies. To most of you I am just another Northlander bastard here to take your women and drink your mead, but to those who know me, my name is Gallow. I fought for my king for seven long years. I have served lords and held my shield beside common men. I have fled in defeat and I have tasted victory and I will tell you which is sweeter. Despise me then, for I have slain more of your kin than I can count, though I remember every single face.

For my king I will travel to the end of the world. I will find the fabled Crimson Shield so that his legions may carry it to battle, and when Sword and Shield must finally clash, there you will find me. I will not make pacts with devils or bargains with demons for I do not believe in such things, and yet I will see them all around me, in men and in their deeds. Remember me then, for I will not suffer such monsters to live. Even if they are the ones I serve.”

Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson

Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson is the first book in The Kharkanas Trilogy (Bantam £9.99) – now available.

“It is the Age of Darkness and the realm called Kuruld Galain — home of the Tiste Andii and ruled over by Mother Dark from her citadel in Kharkanas — is in a perilous state. For the commoners’ great warrior hero, Vatha Urusander, is being championed by his followers to take Mother Dark’s hand in marriage but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such arrogant ambition.

As the impending clash between these two rival powers sends fissures rippling across the land and rumours of civil war flare and take hold amongst the people, so an ancient power emerges from seas once thought to be long dead. None can fathom its true purpose nor comprehend its potential. And caught in the middle of this seemingly inevitable conflagration are the First Sons of Darkness — Anomander, Andarist and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold — and they are about reshape the world…

Here begins Steven Erikson’s epic tale of bitter family rivalries, of jealousies and betrayals, of wild magic and unfettered power…and of the forging of a sword.”

The Thing about Wolves by Leigh Evans

The Thing about Wolves by Leigh Evans (book two of the Mystwalker series) is out from Tor (£7.99).

“Does the nightmare end when your wishes come true? Becoming a werewolf pack’s Alpha-by-proxy might be someone’s dream, but it wasn’t on Hedi’s list of life goals. And it’s just not working out. Small hints being Creemore’s wolves wanting her blood, or North America’s Council of Weres wanting her dead.

Then Hedi’s deepest wishes are granted. Robson Trowbridge returns from Merenwyn — and her true love isn’t alone. He’s found her long-missing twin brother, Lexi. With this double helping of wonderful, things should have been all sunshine and flowers, but the fae realm has changed both men. If Hedi can’t save her brother from his addiction, it’ll kill him. And her relationship with Robson may not survive the forces pushing them apart. To combat the darkness ahead, Hedi must face her dangerous were/fae heritage, and travel into the Fae Kingdom’s darkest heart.”

The Stuff of Nightmares by James Lovegrove

More Sherlock Holmes: James Lovegrove’s Sherlock Holmes: The Stuff of Nightmares is due out from Titan at the end of the month (£7.99).

“It’s the autumn of 1890, and a spate of bombings has hit London. The newspapers are full of fevered speculation about anarchists, anti-monarchists and Fenians. But one man suspects an even more sinister hand behind the violence. Sherlock Holmes believes Professor Moriarty is orchestrating a nationwide campaign of terror, but to what end?

At the same time, a bizarrely garbed figure has been spotted on the rooftops and in the grimy back alleys of the capital. He moves with the extraordinary agility of a latter-day Spring-heeled Jack. He possesses weaponry and armour of unprecedented sophistication. He is known only by the name Baron Cauchemar, and he appears to be a scourge of crime and villainy. But is this masked man truly the force for good that he seems? Is he connected somehow to the bombings? Holmes and his faithful companion Dr Watson are about to embark on one of their strangest and most exhilarating adventures yet.”

Sunday, August 4, 2013

An Inch of Ashes (Chung Kuo Book 6) by David Wingrove. Book review.

An Inch of Ashes (Chung Kuo book 6) by David Wingrove. Corvus £14.99

Reviewed by John Howard

David Wingrove’s epic Chung Kuo originally appeared in eight large volumes between 1989 and 1997. Now Wingrove is ‘recasting’ the entire series, spreading it across twenty not so large volumes, adding completely new material in two prequel volumes and two more planned at the end. An Inch of Ashes was originally the second part of the former book two, The Broken Wheel.

It is now the autumn of 2206. Several of the T’ang – the seven men who rule with all-but absolute power over the various parts of the continent-spanning City that is Chung Kuo – are increasingly unsure of their ability to hold on to power and to exercise it in the way they wish. Tensions are growing between them, and the spectre of change remains at large in the conditioned air of the Levels. The terrorist group Ping Tiao (‘levelling’) is still causing trouble, and is just one of many unpredictable human factors threatening the vision of channelled and controlled peace and stability that the rulers have for the planet. The loose opposition headed by Howard DeVore still manages to keep one step ahead of the T’ang despite all the efforts made by the Seven’s security apparatus to track down its members and sympathisers and eliminate them.

One response by the Seven is, despite the misgivings of some of them, to give the go-ahead for research into the possibility of making it impossible for people to even wish for change: a stupendous project masterminded by the enigmatic Ben Shepherd. Those plans are monstrous, both in scope and (to some) impact. At the same time Shepherd finally discovers his true nature, and the secret in his family that has been hidden in open sight since the foundation of Chung Kuo. Shepherd’s status as an official ‘wild card’ is further enhanced, with all the danger and uncertainty for the massed billions inhabiting the City.

In An Inch of Ashes the reader is immersed once more in a complex world-wide political and dynastic drama in which threads of friendship, alliance and betrayal are continually woven, get frayed, sometimes break, and are knitted again into new and often previously unthinkable patterns. The pace never lets up; the contrast between the beauty and elegance of much of the Seven’s culture and the high moral language of their aims, and the utter ruthlessness and violence of how they execute (pun intended) them in reality is maintained, strengthening the impression that nowhere is potentially as alien as the Earth itself, and no-one and nothing is as alien as humanity and what it could become – or be forced into becoming.

War Master’s Gate by Adrian Tchaikovsky

War Master’s Gate by Adrian Tchaikovsky is book nine in the Shadows of the Apt series (Tor £12.99), now available.

“Relentlessly advancing towards Collegium, the Empire is again seeking to break down its walls. The mighty imperial armies have learnt from their failures, and Empress Seda will brook no weakness in her soldiers. However, Stenwold Maker has earned his title, and the War Master has strategies to save his city. His aviators rule the skies – but the Wasp Kinden Empire has developed a terrifying new aerial weapon.

Yet the campaign may be decided far from marching armies and the noise of battle. In an ancient forest, where Mantis clans pursue their own civil war, the Empress Seda is seeking lost magic. Some dangerous shadow of old night is locked up among these trees and she is wants its power. Cheerwell Maker must stop her, at any cost, but will their rivalry awaken something far deadlier? Something that could make even their clash of nations pale into insignificance...”

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes is now released as a paperback from Harper (£7.99):

“The girl who wouldn't die, hunting a killer who shouldn't exist…

1930’s America: Lee Curtis Harper is a delusional, violent drifter who stumbles on a house that opens onto other times. Driven by visions, he begins a killing spree over the next 60 years, using an undetectable MO and leaving anachronistic clues on his victims’ bodies.

But when one of his intended ‘shining girls’, Kirby Mazrachi, survives a brutal stabbing, she becomes determined to unravel the mystery behind her would-be killer. While the authorities are trying to discredit her, Kirby is getting closer to the truth, as Harper returns again and again…”

The Third Kingdom by Terry Goodkind

Terry Goodkind’s The Third Kingdom – a Richard and Kahlan novel – is due from Harper Voyager on 22 August (£20.00).

“The bloodthirsty Jit is dead, and against all odds Richard and Kahlan have survived. But a new menace has attacked them in the Dark Lands. Infected with the essence of death itself, robbed of his power as a war wizard, Richard must race against time to uncover and stop the infernal conspiracy assembling itself behind the wall far to the north. His friends and allies are already captives of this fell combination, and Kahlan, also touched by death's power, will die completely if Richard fails.

Bereft of magic, Richard has only his sword, his wits, his capacity for insight – and an extraordinary companion, the young Samantha, a healer just coming into her powers.”

Arctic Rising by Tobias S Buckell

Already available: Arctic Rising by Tobias S Buckell (Del Rey £7.99):

“The Arctic Cap has all but melted, oil has run low and Anika Duncan, former mercenary turned United Nations Polar Guard pilot, patrols the region to protect against pollution and smuggling.

In a daring plan to terraform the planet, the Gaia Corporation develops a revolutionary new technology, but when they lose control, our best potential solution to global warming may become the deadliest weapon ever known.

As a lethal game of international politics and espionage begins, it will be up to Anika to decide the fate of the Earth.”

The Secret of Abdul El Yezdi by Mark Hodder

The Secret of Abdul El Yezdi by the Philip K Dick award-winning author Mark Hodder is published by Del Rey later this month (£16.99).

“Having successfully discovered the source of the Nile, Captain Richard Francis Burton returns to London expecting to marry his fiancé, Isabel Arundell, and be awarded the consulship of Damascus. However, when he's unexpectedly knighted by King George V, his plans go awry. The monarch requires an agent to investigate a sequence of disappearances, and Burton, whether he likes it or not, is the man for the job.

Engineering and medical luminaries – such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Florence Nightingale - are among the missing, but the most significant absence is that of Abdu El Yezdi, an inhabitant of the Afterlife who, in the two decades since the assassination of Queen Victoria, has been Prime Minister Disraeli's most trusted advisor.

The search for the missing ghost soon becomes the least of the explorer's concerns, for it quickly becomes apparent that he himself is at the centre of increasingly bizarre and interconnected events, and that someone – or something – is intent not only on meddling with history, but also on harming the people Burton values the most.”

Saxon’s Bane by Geoffrey Gudgion

Saxon’s Bane by Geoffrey Gudgion is due from Solaris on 12 September (£7.99):

“Fergus’ world changes forever the day his car crashes near the remote village of Allingley. Traumatised by his near-death experience, he stays to work at the local stables as he recovers from his injuries. He will discover a gentler pace of life, fall in love – and be targeted for human sacrifice.

Clare Harvey’s life will never be the same, either. The young archaeologist’s dream find – the peat-preserved body of a Saxon warrior – is giving her nightmares. She can tell that the warrior was ritually murdered, and that the partial skeleton lying nearby is that of a young woman. And their tragic story is unfolding in her head every time she goes to sleep.

Fergus discovers that his crash is linked to the excavation, and that the countryside harbours some dark secrets. As Clare’s investigation reveals the full horror of a Dark Age war crime, Fergus and Clare seem destined to share the Saxon couple’s bloody fate.”