Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sláine: Book of Scars by Pat Mills

Sláine: Book of Scars marks 30 years of the Celtic barbarian’s adventures with an anniversary book that brings together a new story from creator Pat Mills and the biggest artists to have worked on Sláine over the past three decades (now available from 2000AD £19.99):

“Along with his odious sidekick Ukko the Dwarf, Sláine has endured 30 years of trials across the ages as he has served the Earth goddess, Danu, both as High King of Ireland and as a time-travelling warrior.

The Book of Scars sees Sláine return to the most pivotal moments of his life where he has to face off against his greatest foes – illustrated by Mick McMahon, Glenn Fabry, Simon Bisley, and Clint Langley, the artists who secured the character’s name in the annuls of British comics history.

This book also collects every Sláine cover ever to grace the front of 2000 AD, as well as some stunning pin-ups, sketches and rarities. Artists, writers, editors, and famous fans all contribute their own thoughts on what makes Sláine such a great star of British weekly comic.”

The Emperor of all Things by Paul Witcover

The Emperor of all Things by Paul Witcover is out from Bantam (£8.99):

“1758. England is embroiled in a globe-spanning conflict that stretches from her North American colonies to Europe and beyond. Across the Channel, the French prepare for an invasion — an invasion rumoured to be led by none other than Bonnie Prince Charlie. It seems the map of Europe is about to be redrawn. Yet behind these dramatic scenes, another war is raging – a war that will determine not just the fate of nations but of humanity itself...

Daniel Quare is a journeyman in an ancient guild, The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. He is also a Regulator, part of an elite network within the guild devoted to searching out and claiming for England's exclusive use any horological innovation that could give them an upper hand, whether in business or in war.

Just such a mission has brought Quare to the London townhouse of eccentric collector, Lord Wichcote. He seeks a pocket watch rumoured to possess seemingly impossible properties that are more to do with magic than with any science familiar to Quare or to his superiors. And the strange timepiece has attracted the attention of others as well: the mysterious masked thief known only as Grimalkin, and a deadly French spy who stop at nothing to bring the prize back to his masters.”

Breach Zone by Myk Cole

Breach Zone is the third book in Myke Cole's Shadow Ops series, due later this month from Headline (£7.99):

“The Great Reawakening introduced magic into an already volatile world. Many of those with new-found powers have been conscripted by the US Army ... but when the barriers between our reality and the source of this magic starts to fall, they will have to decide who they are really fighting for.”

The People’s Will by Jasper Kent

The People’s Will by Jasper Kent (Bantam £8.99) is the fourth volume in the Danilov Quintet:
“Turkmenistan 1881: Beneath the citadel of Geok Tepe sits a prisoner. He hasn’t moved from his chair for two years, hasn’t felt the sun on his face in more than fifty, but he is thankful for that. The city is besieged by Russian troops and soon falls. But one Russian officer has his own reason to be here. Colonel Otrepyev marches into the underground gaol, but for the prisoner it does not mean freedom, simply a new gaoler; an old friend, now an enemy. They return to Russia to meet an older enemy still.
In Saint Petersburg, the great vampire Zmyeevich waits as he has always waited. He knows he will never wield power over Tsar Aleksandr II, but the tsarevich will be a different matter. When Otrepyev delivers the prisoner into his hands, Zmyeevich will have everything he needs. Then all that need happen is for the tsar to die.
But it is not only the Otrepyev and his captive who have returned from Geok Tepe. Another soldier has followed them, one who cares nothing for the fate of the tsar, nor for Zmyeevich, nor for Otrepyev. He has only one thing on his mind – revenge.”

Ex-Purgatory by Peter Clines

Ex-Purgatory by Peter Clines (Del Rey £7.99) is the latest in the Ex series:
“George Bailey is an ordinary guy, working the nine to five as a handyman and trying to make the best of the little he’s got. But when he sleeps, he dreams of fire and flying, of zombies and superheroes.

When the two realities start to merge, George begins to question if he’s gone mad.
That, or something has gone terribly wrong...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson

Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson is published next month by Solaris (£7.99).
“Rudi is a cook in a Kraków restaurant, but when his boss asks Rudi to help a cousin escape from the country he’s trapped in a new career – part spy, part people-smuggler.
Following multiple economic crises and a devastating flu pandemic, Europe has fractured into countless tiny nations, duchies, polities and republics. Recruited by the shadowy organisation Les Coureurs des Bois, Rudi is schooled in espionage, but when a training mission to The Line, a sovereign nation consisting of a trans-Europe railway line, goes wrong, he is arrested and beaten, and Coureur Central must attempt a rescue.
With so many nations to work in, and identities to assume, Rudi is kept busy travelling across Europe. But when he is sent to smuggle someone out of Berlin and finds a severed head inside a locker instead, a conspiracy begins to wind itself around him.”

God’s War by Kameron Hurley

God’s War by Kameron Hurley (a British Fantasy Award winner) is out from Del Rey at £8.99.
“Nyx is a bel dame, a bounty hunter paid to collect the heads of deserters – by almost any means necessary. ‘Almost’ proved to be the problem. 
Cast out and imprisoned for breaking one rule too many, Nyx and her crew of mercenaries are all about the money. But when a dubious government deal with an alien emissary goes awry, her name is at the top of the list for a covert recovery.
While the centuries-long war rages on only one thing is certain: the world’s best chance for peace rests in the hands of its most ruthless killers.”

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston is out from Corsair (£7.99)

“Fledgling witch Morgana must defend her love, her home, and her life ‘Wild places make wild people, but only some have magic blood. There are those with frozen hearts, whose souls know only winter. They would drive me from my home. It will not do. Really, it will not.’

In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has not spoken a word out loud since she was a child, and her silence – as well as the magic she can't quite control – makes her an oddity, taunted by rumour and mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother arranges for Morgana to marry Cai Jenkins, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the nasty things folk say about her daughter.

After a swift wedding, Cai takes his new wife to his farm. Initially heartbroken to leave her home, Morgana soon begins to falls in love with the place, and the rugged mountains that surround it – just as Cai slowly begins to win her heart. But it isn't long before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon. A dark force is at work – a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expense of those closest to her. Forced to defend her home, her lover, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power ... or lose everything.”

Invent-10n by Rod Rees

A limited signed, hardcover edition of Invent-10n by Rod Rees is now available from The Alchemy Press -- signed by Rees as well as the book's designers and artist. The print run is 100 copies and is only available from the publisher. A paperback edition is also available for around £11 from Amazon, The Book Depository and other online dealers.

"Greetings Gate, let’s Agitate. Look over your shoulder. Do you see the camera? Then dig that even as you read these words of sedition and denial you are being watched by the ever e-quisitive National Protection Agency. The National Protection Agency – omnipresent, omniscient and most ominous – which runs PanOptika, the spider at the centre of the Web.

PanOptika. What’s the slogan: watching out for the good guys by watching out for the bad guys. But what did that Roman word-slinger, Juvenal say? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes: who watches the watchers?

So dig this to the extremity, cats and kittens: if we do nothing soon we must kneel, digitally-dutiful, before National Protection, and then there will be no chance to zig when the ChumBots say zag, or to beep when they say bop. Realise thou that PanOptika triumphant means we will not be able to think, to act, to speak or to move without the spirit-sapping realisation that the badniks know everything … everything.

We are circling the drain. This is my warning."

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

Out this week from Titan Books (£7.99): The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff. This is the first volume of a new urban fantasy series from the author of The Blood Books.
“The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, and they like to keep this in the family. Alysha Gale is tired of having all her aunts try to run her life, both personally and magically. So when the letter from her Gran arrives willing her a ‘junk’ shop in Calgary, Alysha jumps at the chance. It isn't until she gets there that she realizes her customers are fey. And no one told her there's trouble brewing in Calgary – trouble so big that even calling in the family may not save the day...”

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Innocence by Dean Koontz

Innocence by Dean Koontz is out now from Harper Collins (£18.99):
“Addison Goodheart is not like other people … Addison Goodheart lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from a society which will destroy him if he is ever seen.

Books are his refuge and his escape: he embraces the riches they have to offer. By night he leaves his hidden chambers and, through a network of storm drains and service tunnels, makes his way into the central library. And that is where he meets Gwyneth, who, like Addison, also hides her true appearance and struggles to trust anyone.

But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance – and nothing less than destiny – has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.”

Midkemia: The Chronicles of Pug by Raymond Feist

The world of Raymond Feist is beautifully depicted in Midkemia: The Chronicles of Pug (available from Harper Voyager £20) an illustrated deluxe compendium, complete with maps, character drawings, and first-person narrative text.
“‘In the first year of the reign of King Lyam conDoin, I, Pug of Crydee, magician to the royal court and cousin to the King by adoption, do take quill in hand and set forth this writ, that all may benefit from the knowledge I have gained…’ – Pug of Stardock
So begins the narrative account of Feist’s best-selling character, Pug of Stardock, for Midkemia Atlas. Part travel log/journal and part atlas, this visual compendium brings the world of Midkemia to illustrative life.
Starting at the Far Coast, the Pug, the hero of The Chaoswar Trilody, recounts his childhood, before he embarks on a journey that takes him to the Grey Towers, Sorcerer’s Isle, and Krondor. Pug also encounters several favourite characters and people along the way – including Jimmy and Locky, the Sauur, and Erik and Roo in Ravernburg.”

The Echo by James Smythe

The Echo by James Smythe, the sequel to The Explorer, is out next week from Harper Voyager (£16.99):
The disappearance of the spaceship Ishiguro twenty-three years ago devastated the global space program and set back exploration for a generation. Now, thanks to the tireless efforts of twin brothers Mira and Tomas Hyvonen, the program has been resurrected. Spearheading a new age of human discovery, the brothers also hope to solve the mystery behind the Ishiguro's disastrous mission.

Mira and Tomas are determined to make their trip successful. They have arranged everything down to the smallest detail. Nothing has been overlooked. They don't know that in space, the devil isn't always in the details ... and nothing goes according to plan.

Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea by Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts and artist Mahendra Singh have revisited Jules Verne's classic SF novel with Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea (now available from Gollancz £16.99).
“It is 1958 and France's first nuclear submarine, Plongeur, leaves port for the first of its sea trials. On board, gathered together for the first time, one of the navy's most experienced captains and a tiny skeleton crew of sailors, engineers and scientists.
The Plongeur makes her first dive and goes down, and down and down... Out of control, the submarine plummets to a depth where the pressure will crush her hull, killing everyone on board, and beyond. The pressure builds, the hull protests, the crew prepare for death, the boat reaches the bottom of the sea and finds ... nothing.
Her final dive continues, the pressure begins to relent, but the depth gauge is useless. They have gone miles down. Hundreds of miles, thousands...
And so it goes on. And on board the crew succumb to madness, betrayal, religious mania and murder. Has the Plongeur left the limits of our world and gone elsewhere?”

Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea contains 33 full page pen and ink illustrations by Mahendra Singh.

Fantasycon 2014: Charlaine Harris announced as GoH

FantasyCon 2014 has announced that Charlaine Harris will be joining as a Guest of Honour at FantasyCon in York from the 5th-7th September, 2014. She joins existing Guests of Honour, Kate Elliott, Larry Rostant and Toby Whithouse.

Charlaine is a New York Times bestselling author, who has been writing for over thirty years. She is perhaps best known as the creator of the Sookie Stackhouse series of urban fantasy novels, which have been translated into over thirty languages, and which were adapted by HBO as the TV series, True Blood. Her new novel - Midnight Crossroad - is published by Gollancz in May 2014.