Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!


May your favourite incomplete series be completed!
May your starts be action packed!
May your endings be the most surprising!
May your protagonists stay with your for years to come!
May your books be remembered forever!

I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Review: The Ten Thousand by Paul Kearney

Title: The Ten Thousand
Author: Paul Kearney
Paperback: Paperback; 480 pages
Publisher: Solaris; 26 August 2008
ISBN 10: 1844165736
ISBN 13: 978-1844165735
Series: Book 1 of The Macht Trilogy

"On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For centuries they have remained within the remote fastnesses of the Harukush Mountains. In the world beyond, the teeming races and peoples of Kuf have been united within the bounds of the Asurian Empire, which rules the known world, and is invincible. The Great King of Asuria can call up whole nations to the battlefield. His word is law.

But now the Great King's brother means to take the throne by force, and in order to do so he has sought out the legend. He hires ten thousand mercenary warriors of the Macht, and leads them into the heart of the Empire."


Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Free Reading: The Blue Portal by Eric Brown

Here is an excellent Christmas gift from Solaris Books:
Free e-book of Eric Brown's The Blue Portal. You can download this short e-book from Solaris's blog site: When Gravity Fails or from Apple's iBookstore.

The Blue Portal is an extract from the beginning of Eric Brown's upcoming novel The Kings of Eternity (published on 1 Apr 2011).

1999, on the threshold of a new millennium, the novelist Daniel Langham lives a reclusive life on an idyllic Greek island, hiding away from humanity and the events of the past. All that changes, however, when he meets artist Caroline Platt and finds himself falling in love. But what is his secret, and what are the horrors that haunt him?

1935. Writers Jonathon Langham and Edward Vaughan are summoned from London by their editor friend Jasper Carnegie to help investigate strange goings on in Hopton Wood. What they discover there - no less than a strange creature from another world - will change their lives forever. What they become, and their link to the novelist of the future, is the subject of Eric Brown’s most ambitious novel to date. Almost ten years in the writing, The Kings of Eternity is a novel of vast scope and depth, full of the staple tropes of the genre and yet imbued with humanity and characters you’ll come to love.

Solaris Books has been publishing some other excellent science-fiction books of Eric Brown's. Here are the two that they've published in 2010:

Engineman (14 Oct 2010)

Once they pushed bigships through the cobalt glory of the Nada-Continuum. But faster than light isn’t fast enough anymore. The interfaces of the Keilor-Vincicoff Organisation bring planets light years distant a simple step away. Then a man with half a face offers ex-engineman Ralph Mirren the chance to escape his ruined life and push a ship to an undisclosed destination. The Nada-Continuum holds the key to Ralph's future. What he cannot anticipate is its universal importance – nor the mystery awaiting him on the distant colony world. Engineman is a thrilling action adventure by the author of Helix and Kethani. Also in this volume are nine stories set in the Engineman universe, including the Interzone award winning 'The Time-Lapsed Man.'

Guardians of the Phoenix (16 Dec 2010)

Global warming has taken its terrible toll. The seas have dried up and deserts cover much of the Earth’s surface. Humankind has been annihilated by drought and the nuclear and biological conflicts following the Great Breakdown. Desperate bands of humans still survive. Some live far underground, away from the searing temperatures and ongoing conflicts on the surface; others scrape a living in the remains of shattered cities above ground. In Paris, Pierre lives like an animal among the sand-drifted ruins of the once great city. Near death, he faces a choice: join the strangers heading south in search of water, or remain in the city and perish. Guardians of the Phoenix tells the story of the last survivors on planet Earth, their desperate fight for survival and their last hope to save the world.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton

Title: Pandora's Star
Author: Peter F. Hamilton
Paperback: 1152 pages
Publisher: Pan - 4 Mar 2005
ISBN 10: 0330493310
ISBN 13: 978-0330493314
Series: Book 1 of Commonwealth Saga

In AD 2329, humanity has colonised over four hundred planets, all of them interlinked by wormholes. With Earth at its centre, the Intersolar Commonwealth now occupies a sphere of space approximately four hundred light years across. When an astronomer on the outermost world of Gralmond, observes a star 2000 light years distant - and then a neighbouring one - vanish, it is time for the Commonwealth to discover what happened to them. For what if their disappearance indicates some kind of galactic conflict? Since a conventional wormhole cannot be used to reach these vanished stars, for the first time humans need to build a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance. But it arrives to find each 'vanished' star encased in a giant force field -- and within one of them resides a massive alien civilisation.

Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Official Release: Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar by Craig Smith

Craig Smith's new book Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar is officially released. You can read a short excerpt on the author's blog and order your copy on StoneGarden.net.

Paperback: 270 pages
ISBN: 1-60076-190-9

Blurb
A thief in the night. A missing sacred artifact. An evil warlord from ancient history. A mysterious black hawk. These are only a few of the problems facing Tennen, the newly appointed Lord Protector of Melin. Thrown into a desperate race against time, Tennen must take up the pursuit wherever it takes him. Meanwhile, searching for his lost family in a war torn land, Devlin finds a little more than he bargained for, something that will change his life forever.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two New Books? How Does Brandon Sanderson Do It?

I'm not a writer so I won't pretend that I know anything about the time it takes to write a book. However I'm impressed how productive Brandon Sanderson is. Not only he can write fast but he writes great books too.

Tor just announced the acquisition of two of his novels: Mistborn: The Alloy of Law and The Rithmatist. I remember having read about the first one but I hadn't heard about the second one previously.

From the press release:

Tor Books is proud to announce the acquisition of two new novels by acclaimed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson, whose recent book Towers of Midnight, Book Thirteen in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time®, recently debuted at #1 on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and ABA National Indiebound bestseller lists. Sanderson is also the author of New York Times bestselling novels The Way of Kings, The Gathering Storm, The Mistborn Trilogy, Warbreaker, Elantris, and the middle grade “Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians” series. He is currently working on A Memory of Light, the 14th and final volume in The Wheel of Time, and planning a sequel to The Way of Kings.

Sanderson’s first new project will be an original, standalone short novel set in the universe of his Mistborn trilogy (Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages). Sanderson previously announced plans for a sequel trilogy set in the far future of that world, and the new novel, entitled Mistborn: The Alloy of Law, is set during a frontier era where “allomancy” meets gunplay. The Alloy of Law will be published in late 2011.

Sanderson’s second project, titled The Rithmatist, was first drafted in 2007 and perfected this year. Set in an alternate-history America where magic users (called “Rithmatists”) battle wild chalk creatures, The Rithmatist introduces Joel, a student at the Rithmatist academy with great interest in but no ability to use the magic. But when students start vanishing, it’s up to him to expose the sinister figure behind the disappearances. The Rithmatist will be published in 2012 after the publication of A Memory of Light.

This year and next will also see major publications in the Wheel of Time franchise, including the graphic novel adaptations of New Spring (January 2011) and The Eye of the World: Volume 1 (September 2011) before the landmark publication of A Memory of Light, the final volume in the series. The third annual JordanCon will take place April 15–17 2011 in Atlanta, GA. Pre-registration is currently ongoing at www.ageoflegends.net.

Fore more information visit www.brandonsanderson.com.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Exclusive Excerpt from Orson Scott Card's The Lost Gate

The Lost Gate is Orson Scott Card's upcoming book and the first book in his new Mither Mages fantasy trilogy. The book will be released on 4 January 2010. Today, you can read an exclusive excerpt on Tor.com (you must login to Tor.com to access this exclusive preview - signing up is free).

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (January 4, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0765326574
ISBN-13: 978-0765326577

This contemporary urban fantasy introduces the North family, a clan of mages in exile in our world, and their enemies who will do anything to keep them locked here.

Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different -- and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an outself.

He grew up in the rambling old house, filled with dozens of cousins and aunts and uncles, all ruled by his father. Their home was isolated in the mountains of western Virginia, far from town, far from schools, far from other people.

There are many secrets in the House, and many rules that Danny must follow. There is a secret library with only a few dozen books, and none of them in English--but Danny and his cousins are expected to become fluent in the language of the books. While Danny's cousins are free to create magic whenever they like, they must never do it where outsiders might see. Unfortunately, there are some secrets kept from Danny as well. And that will lead to disaster for the North family.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter is Coming

I just came across this new trailer of Game of Thrones. It brings back the memories of such an amazing book. I'll be the first one to sit and watch this TV series but I just wish that the book series were complete.

Friday, November 26, 2010

"The Reindeer People" and "Wolf's Brother" Reissued by Harper Voyager

Robin Hobb is one of my favourite fantasy authors. She wrote under the pseudonym Megan Lindholm from 1983 to 1992 and now Harper Voyager are reissuing two of her books, The Reindeer People and Wolf's Brother. The books will be published right after Hobb's upcoming book The Inheritance containing short stories written as Hobb and Lindholm (a duality that is perfectly captured by the beautiful cover art).

The Reindeer People

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager; (Reissue) edition (28 April 2011)
ISBN-10: 0007425449
ISBN-13: 978-0007425440

Book Depository - Amazon UK

A voyage of discovery into the life of a remote aboriginal community in the Siberian Arctic, where the reindeer has been a part of daily life since Palaeolithic times.

The Reindeer People is the first in a series of reissues of Megan Lindholm’s (Robin Hobb) classic backlist titles. It is set in the harsh wilderness of a prehistoric North America, and tells the story of a tribe of nomads and hunters as they try to survive, battling against enemy tribes, marauding packs of wolves and the very land itself.

Living on the outskirts of the tribe Tillu was happy spending her time tending her strange, slow dreamy child Kerlew and comunning with the spirits to heal the sick and bring blessing on new births.
However Carp, the Shaman, an ugly wizened old man whose magic smelled foul to Tillu desired both mother and child. Tillu knew Carp’s magic would steal her son and her soul. Death waited in the snows of the Tundra, but Tillu knew which she would prefer…

Gritty and realistic, it’s reminiscent of Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear but written in the compelling style of the author who produced the bestselling Assassin’s Apprentice.

Wolf's Brother

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager; (Reissue) edition (28 April 2011)
ISBN-10: 0007425430
ISBN-13: 978-0007425433

Amazon UK

The compelling sequel to The Reindeer People , a saga of magic and triumph in an ancient world.

Kerlew stared at the immense stone that jutted up from the tundra. Power radiated from it like heat from a fire. It attracted the boy and filled him with fear.

And then he was alone.

There was a brush of sound, of dark moving shadows and then the sudden flash of a glistening eye. He pressed his palms back against the stone’s rough surface and faced the night creatures that surrounded him.

The magic is strong in Kerlew. Every day it grows, reaching out to the Wolf spirit that will be his guide. But the magic in Kerlew that calls to the beasts and to the spirit world also calls to Carp, the evil old shaman, who follows Kerlew and his mother, Tillu, across the frozen wastes. When he finds them, he will bind them to him, and shape Kerlew’s powers for his own uses.

The Inheritance


Hardback
Publisher: Harper Voyager (31 Mar 2011)
ISBN-10: 0007273797
ISBN-13: 978-0007273799

Book Depository - Amazon UK - Amazon US

A collection of novellas and short stories from one of the most critically acclaimed authors in the fantasy genre, Robin Hobb. Including work written under her pseudonym, Megan Lindholm

Bingtown heiresses rub shoulders in this wonderful collection with vampires and alien musicians, tramps and feral cats.

In The Homecoming, Lady Carillion Carrock and a number of other Jamaillian nobles are sailing to the Cursed Shores. Their journey is not by choice: for plotting against the Satrap, their wealth has been confiscated and they have been exiled. Until now, Carillion has done nothing but lead a life of privilege. She believes they are bound for wondrous cities, cities where ancient kings and queens dusted their skin with gold and wore jewels above their eyes. But when she is marooned by the ship’s unscrupulous captain, she will soon discover the grim reality of what survival in the Rain Wilds entails.

The Silver Lady is a would-be writer, ekeing out a dull existence by working in a Sears store. The one day a man comes in: fortyish, pleasant-looking. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except he says his name is Merlin, and he’s about to change her life.

Rosemary got involved with the wrong man. Pell is lazy, good for nothing, a bully. Her best friend Hilia knew it and so did her tom cat, Marmalade. But love is blind: Rosemary had Pell’s baby, renovated the cottage his grandfather left in his will, turned its land to good use; and then he left her for another woman. Now he’s back, and something must be done…

Press Releases from Angry Robot and Seventh Star Press

PRESS RELEASE
22nd November 2010 ~ For Immediate Release


ANGRY ROBOT ANNOUNCES DIGITAL SHORT STORY STORE

On December 1st 2010, Angry Robot will be launching “Nano Editions”. Exclusive to the publisher’s own webstore at angryrobotstore.com, Nanos are digital short stories by Angry Robot novelists, sold at sensible prices in ePub format, ready to load onto the world’s most popular eBook readers.

Most Nanos will be in the 5,000 – 15,000 word range. Shorter works than that will be automatically bundled with another story to ensure value for money.

Talking of which – stories will cost just 59p each (approximately US $0.95). Readers can bundle a collection of any 10 by any combination of authors, for only £3.49 (US$5.59). The files will be DRM-free and available worldwide. If demand for the stories takes off, AR plan to also sell them via eBook retailers.

Angry Robot Editor Lee Harris said, “Publishing is changing, but our role as publishers remains the same – to find cool stories and bring them to readers. This is another step in Angry Robot’s ongoing plan to embrace the new opportunities digital formats provide – and an excellent way for readers to sample unfamiliar authors, without breaking the bank.”

Authors included in the Nanos series include multi-million-selling novelist Dan Abnett and award-winning short fiction authors Kaaron Warren and Aliette de Bodard, along with many others. We will have at least 30 Nanos available for the December 1st launch, with more added at regular intervals.

Lee Harris
Editor, Angry Robot


For Immediate Release
November 23, 2010

Seventh Star Press is proud to announce the release of DREAM OF LEGENDS, the second book in the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series from Stephen Zimmer.

Now available for pre-order in a specially priced limited edition hardcover and trade paperback, DREAM OF LEGENDS continues the adventures begun in CROWN OF VENGEANCE, when it was released in fall of 2009.

DREAM OF LEGENDS journeys forward with several characters from the modern world, who discover that finding themselves in the fantastical lands of Ave was just the beginning. The assault upon the Kingdom of Saxany and the tribes of the Five Realms ignites, as the eyes of The Unifier turn southward, across the seas towards faraway Midragard. Within this maelstrom, some find themselves on a path of discovery, to uncover powers that lie within, while others must brave perilous journeys, to seek out the things said to exist only in the faded mists of myth and legend. Epic battles, plot twists, and new environments abound in DREAM OF LEGENDS.

Book Two of the Fires in Eden Series, DREAM OF LEGENDS is immersive, epic fantasy, for those who love to explore richly developed fantasy worlds alongside an ensemble of intriguing, diverse characters. Readers of the great epic fantasy authors such as Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien will find a wondrous trove of adventure, characters, and depth in this next step of the Fires in Eden series.

Working with Stephen for the first time, and taking on the editorial reins of the Fires in Eden Series to keep the dedicated yearly release schedule on course, was Karen Leet.

"Working with Stephen has been a joy. He is totally professional about his work, meets deadlines and edits cheerfully," Karen commented. "He makes editing easy for me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know his characters, who now seem to me like actual people with genuine depth. His plotlines stride across the pages on swift, sure feet and sweep the reader along with them."

“Having Karen as my editor on DREAM OF LEGENDS was a wonderful experience. She did a meticulous analysis of Crown of Vengeance to ensure full continuity of tone and style with the new book. I am fortunate to be working with two excellent editors on my two series. The new book is loaded with action, and there are some very big revelations in regards to the full series,” Stephen said. “DREAM OF LEGENDS builds strongly upon the foundation set in place by Crown of Vengeance, keeping storylines tight while introducing many new and exciting elements. I am confident that readers who enjoyed the first book are going to be elated with this new installment of the series.”

Continuing one of the most extensive collaborations between an artist and an author in the fantasy sphere, a brand new set of illustrations and cover art were created for DREAM OF LEGENDS by fantasy artist Matthew Perry. With the two Rising Dawn Saga books and the two Fires in Eden books, a growing body of over 50 full page illustrations have been created by Matthew for Stephen’s literary work.

In addition to writing two active epic-scale fantasy series, The Rising Dawn Saga and the Fires in Eden Series, Stephen also saw his first foray into the steampunk genre published a couple of months ago with “In the Mountain Skies”, which was included in the Dreams of Steam Anthology (Editor Kimberly Richardson, Kerlak Publishing). Stephen is also a screenwriter and director in the world of film, with a new fantasy short film on the horizon in early 2011, “Swordbearer”, which features professional wrestler Al Snow, and is based on the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant (Sam’s Dot Publishing).

By the third week of December, DREAM OF LEGENDS will be available in hardcover, trade paperback, and several eBook formats, for owners of the Kindle, the iPad, the Nook, Sony eReaders, and other compatible electronic reading devices.

Already maintaining one of the most active year-round appearance schedules of any fantasy author, Stephen will be hitting the road extensively in 2011 in support of the Fires in Eden Series, the Rising Dawn Saga, and the “Swordbearer” short film. The third book in the Rising Dawn Saga is slated for summer of 2011, and the next Fires in Eden Book for December of 2011.

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at www.seventhstarpress.com, or at the author's site at www.stephenzimmer.com

Contact: C.C. James
Public Relations, Seventh Star Press
ccjames@seventhstarpress.com
Seventh Star Press Mailing Address:
3801 Dylan Place Suite 116, #7
Lexington, Ky. 40514-1062

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thrall by Steven L. Shrewsbury - Press Release from Seventh Star Press

For Immediate Release
November 5, 2010

Seventh Star Press Proudly Introduces Steven L. Shrewsbury's Thrall.

Seventh Star Press is proud to announce the release of THRALL, the new heroic fantasy novel from author Steven L. Shrewsbury.

Now available for pre-order in limited edition hardcover and trade paperback, THRALL is the first published adventure of a brand new hero in fantasy literature, Gorias La Gaul.

Set in an ancient world, Thrall is gritty, dark-edged heroic fantasy in the vein of Robert E. Howard and David Gemmell. It tells the story of Gorias La Gaul, an aging warrior who has lived for centuries battling the monstrosities of legend and lore. It is an age when the Nephilum walk the earth, and dragons still soar through the air … living or undead. On a journey to find one of his own blood, Gorias' path crosses with familiar enemies ... some of whom not even death can hold bound.

Having also worked with Steven on his novel Tormentor (Lachesis Publishing), Louise Bohmer served as the editor on Thrall. "Working with Steven Shrewsbury on a novel is an enjoyable experience. Steve is a conscientious author who is easy to work with. His stories are grand adventures in imagination,” Bohmer commented.

Steven Shrewsbury is a rising star in fantasy, with a host of published work spanning novels, magazines, anthologies, and other publications. In addition to the release of THRALL, Steven recently saw his collaboration with Nate Southard, BAD MAGICK, published in hardcover by Bloodletting Press. He has two other highly-anticipated releases on the horizon. His collab novel with Peter Welmerink, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, was recently accepted by Belfire Press for an early 2011 release. The novel HELL BILLY is to be published by Bad Moon Books in 2012.

“Sometimes I think Steven Shrewsbury could very well be the reincarnation of Robert E. Howard, in a writing sense,” commented fellow Seventh Star Press author Stephen Zimmer. “As a huge fan of David Gemmell and Robert E. Howard, I can say with absolute confidence that Steven Shrewsbury is exceptional at writing dark-edged heroic fantasy. It is not an exaggeration to say that Gorias La Gaul could one day join the heroic fantasy pantheon with Conan, Druss the Legend, and other legendary fantasy figures. I can’t wait to read more adventures with Gorias in the future.”

The Seventh Star Press editions feature cover art and additional illustrations from fantasy artist Matthew Perry. The limited edition packages feature the artwork in a special set of 5X7 glossy prints, a set of bookmarks, and a full-sized Gorias poster that come with every pre-ordered hardcover or trade paperback.

By the first week of December, the book will be available in hardcover, trade paperback, and several eBook formats, for owners of the Kindle, the iPad, the Nook, Sony eReaders, and other compatible electronic reading devices.

An extensive series of special events and signings in support of THRALL are in the planning stages, slated to begin in early 2011.

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at www.seventhstarpress.com, or at the author's site at www.stevenshrewsbury.com


Contact: C.C. James
Public Relations, Seventh Star Press
ccjames@seventhstarpress.com
Seventh Star Press Mailing Address:
3801 Dylan Place Suite 116, #7
Lexington, Ky. 40514-1062

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cover Art - Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence


Blogosphere and on-line forums are full of discussions about the typical hooded figures on the cover of fantasy books. I know that some of the fantasy lovers can't stand covers displaying single hooded figures. I, personally, don't close the door on them categorically. It is art after all, and it depends on various facts such as the composition, colour scheme, movements etc.

Mark Lawrence's upcoming book (published on 4 Aug 2011 by Harper Voyager), Prince of Thorns, has such a cover. Even though the typical hooded figure is at the centre of the cover art, I really like it. At first glance, I thought the idea of being misty didn't go well with strong winds capable of lifting a cloak, but I must admit I quite like its black-and-white and lifeless background. In contrast, the main figure's colours and the movement of his cape create the main contrast. We are not sure if this young and delicate looking warrior is responsible of the carnage around him but the planted swords raise from the ground like the bloody thorns of a battlefield. The cover art is created by Jason Chan.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager (4 Aug 2011)
ISBN-10: 0007423292
ISBN-13: 978-0007423293

Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled the weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother’s tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that’s true enough, but there’s something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse.

Once a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg’s bleak past has set him beyond fear of any man, living or dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father’s castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.

Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging. Mark Lawrence’s debut novel tells a tale of blood and treacher, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.

"This is a lean, cold knife-thrust of a novel, a revenge fantasy anchored on the compelling voice and savage purpose of its titular Prince. There is never a safe moment in Lawrence’s debut." — Robert Redick, author of The Red Wolf Conspiracy

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Reading

Happy Halloween! Have you done or are you doing anything special for Halloween? We don't go crazy at home but we still decorate a little bit and we do carve one or two pumpkins. Just to welcome trick-or-treating kids and to create some atmosphere (You can see my prize-winning pumpkin on the left :) ).

Back to the books! I've recently received a few books that suit perfectly this time of the year (except maybe the last one, but I included it in the below list as I think I'm going to like it very much):

The End of The Line
edited by Jonathan Oliver

Paperback: 374 pages
Publisher: Solaris (1 Nov 2010)
ISBN-10: 1907519327
ISBN-13: 978-1907519321

New horror stories set on and around the Underground
In deep tunnels something stirs, borne on a warm breath of wind, reeking of diesel and blood. The spaces between stations hold secrets too terrible for the upper world to comprehend and the steel lines sing with the songs of the dead.

The End of The Line collects some of the very best in new horror writing in an themed anthology of stories set on, and around, the Underground, the Metro and other places deep below. This collection of 19 new stories includes thoughtful, disturbing and terrifying tales by Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Mark Morris, Pat Cadigan, Adam Nevill and Michael Marshall Smith amongst many others.

Best of Tomes of the Dead
edited by Jonathan Oliver
featuring Matthew Smith, Al Ewing & Rebecca Levene

Paperback: 671 pages
Publisher: Abaddon (11 Nov 2010)
ISBN-10: 1907519343
ISBN-13: 978-1907519345

A Collection of Three Terrifying Zombie Tales

The Zombie Apocalypse Starts Here...

The masters of flesh-munchingly, gut-wrenchingly, eyeball-poppingly great zombie fiction bring you three of the best books from the first years of the critically-acclaimed Tomes of the Dead line.

The Words of Their Roaring
In a London overrun by the zombie hordes, former thief Gabe O'Connell's loyalty to his employer Harry Flowers is challenged when a routine job goes south and he uncovers the full extent of the gang lord's plans for the city.

I, Zombie
John Doe has been dead for then years. If the price is right, he'll kill for you, steal for you, or save your life for you. There's no mystery you can't hire him to solve... except for the secret behind his own existence. A secret that could end all life on Earth.

Anno Mortis
Beautiful and deadly, the gladiator Boda is brought to Rome in the reign of Caligula, where she uncovers a plot to breach the barrier between life and death. For all that she hates her captors and their decadent city, she may be the empire's only hope.

The Pan Book of Horror Stories
selected by Herbert van Thal

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Pan (1 Oct 2010)
ISBN-10: 0330518682
ISBN-13: 978-0330518680

Fifty years ago Pan launched a series of books that were to delight and disgust - sometimes even on the same page – readers for thirty years. From classics in the genre to scraping-the-barrel nastiness, the Pan Books of Horror had them all and they continue to be a major influence in published anthologies to the present day.

We're delighted, therefore, to announce the reissue of the very first Pan Book of Horror. Specially selected for Pan, here are 22 terrifying tales of horror by such famous authors as Peter Fleming, C. S. Forester, Bram Stoker, Angus Wilson, Noel Langley, Jack Finney and L. P. Hartley.

Stories of the uncanny jostle with tales of the macabre. Stories of subtle beastliness---like Rasberry Jam; of sickening horror---like The Fly or His Beautiful Hands; and of utter chilling terror---like The Horror of the Museum!

The perfect bedside book---for those with nerves of steel!

Pax Britannia: The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus
by Jonathan Green

Paperback: 734 pages
Publisher: Abaddon (11 Nov 2010)
ISBN-10: 190751936X
ISBN-13: 978-1907519369

Action and adventure in a new age of steam.

Join Ulysses Quicksilver - dandy, adventurer and agent of the crown - as he battles the enemies of the Empire in this collection of rip-roaring steampunk adventures. This action-packed tome brings you three sensational tales...

This omnibus collects together the first three Ulysses Quicksilver novels: Unnatural History, Leviathan Rising and Human Nature.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Way of Kings
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Paperback: 1008 pages
Publisher: Tor Books - 31 Aug 2010 (US), Gollancz - 30 Dec 2010 (UK)
ISBN 10: 0765326353
ISBN 13: 978-0765326355
Series: Book 1 of The Stormlight Archive

"Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.


Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

Speak again the ancient oaths,

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again."




Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Holidays

After 3 weeks of radio silence, I'm back. What happened? I went to San Francisco for work for a week. I go there every year to attend JavaOne (a big IT conference built around Java development platform). It all went well.

Then, I visited friends in Colorado for 10 days. This was my first time in Colorado and I was really looking forward to it. First I stayed with friends in Boulder. Then I went to Denver to stay with other friends for a few more days. What did I think of the place? I absolutely loved it.

The weather was amazing. We had 10 days of sunshine and blue sky. I'd love to see Colorado in winter, though, with all the snow and skiing. The people looked very much into outdoors activities.

We drove around the place a lot and while climbing the Rockies, we came across old mining equipment left from the mining era. I thought they looked cool, almost like out of a steampunk novel.

After coming back home for a few days, I left to attend the wedding celebration of some friends during a long weekend break. Now I'm tired but I had great time.


Well... Of course I did some reading during these busy times. I'm hoping to post my review of The Way of Kings on Monday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: The Usurper by Rowena Cory Daniells

Title: The Usurper
Author: Rowena Cory Daniells
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Solaris (2 Sep 2010)
ISBN 10: 1907519068
ISBN 13: 978-1907519062
Series: Book 3 of King Rolen's Kin trilogy

Now a slave, Piro finds herself in the Merofynian Palace where, if her real identity is discovered, she will be executed.

Meanwhile, Fyn is desperate to help his brother, Bryen, who is now the uncrowned King.

Bryen never sought power but now he finds himself at the centre of a dangerous resistance movement as the people of Rolencia flee vicious invaders. How can Byren defeat the invaders, when half his warriors are women and children, and the other half are untrained boys and old men?


Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Review: Century of the Soldier by Paul Kearney

Title: Century of the Soldier
Author: Paul Kearney
Paperback: 814 pages
Publisher: Solaris (2 Sep 2010)
ISBN 10: 1907519084
ISBN 13: 978-1907519086
Series: The Monarchies of God - Volume 2

The time of the wolf is at hand...

Struck down in his moment of victory, Hebrion's young King Abeleyn lies in a coma, his city in ruins and his fiancée and former lover vying for the throne.

Corfe Cear-Inaf, now a colonel, is given a ragtag command of ill-equipped savages and sent on a hopeless mission by a jealous King who expects him to fail.

Richard Hawkwood and Lord Murad return bearing news of horror on a savage new continent, with something terrible lurking in the hold.

The Church is tearing itself apart, even as the champions of truth fight to bring peace between Ramusian and Merduk; but in the far West, a terrible new threat is rearing its head...

The Century of the Soldier collects the final three books in Paul Kearney's explosive The Monarchies of God series, revised and expanded for this edition: The Iron Wars, The Second Empire and Ships From The West.


Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Losing Yourself in Malazan? Here's What Erikson Thinks

Even though I haven't read all of the published books of the epic Malazan Book of the Fallen series, I am a big fan of Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont's work.

I remember when I started to read Gardens of the Moon, the first book of the series, I stopped after a few chapters and wondered if I had missed a few introductory chapters or a previous book. But I quickly appreciated Erikson's style. And over the years, I've heard how readers love to re-read Malazan books. These topics have been continuously discussed among the fans but now here's a chance to hear what Steven Erikson thinks about them:

I'd like to take you all back more than a few pages, and talk about why these novels seem to thrive in the context of re-reads, and why first-time readers are often left feeling bewildered. I think the two are very much related.

It goes back to how I first started writing fiction. I was in a Master's program in archaeology when I came second in a local short story contest in Winnipeg, a tale called 'Wooden Trucks.' On the weight of this one venture into writing I applied to attend a creative writing program at the University of Victoria. I recall being in a sweaty phone box in Belize, on the phone with my mother back in Winnipeg, as she opened the envelope telling me I'd got in. From that moment onward, my entire world changed.

The writing program at Uvic at that time was at its zenith. When I showed up it was as a wide-eyed neophyte with a secret love of genre fiction (one keeps these things secret if one wants to be taken seriously). What I learned, almost from day one, was that I knew nothing about anything; that my writing to that point had only 'worked' because I was instinctively consistent, with emphasis on the word 'instinctively.'

Uvic taught me the craft of writing; it taught me to be mindful. The key though is this: it made me a short-story writer. Short stories are a particular beasts. In them, not a single word is superfluous. Everything carries extra weight, or at least that's how I saw it.

Track forward a few years and scores of short stories later, and I begin writing novels, only to discover that my 'muscle memory' is now absolute -- the obsessive adherence to multifunctional, multilayered writing (line by line, word by word) is not something I can relax -- when novel writing in fact demands just that: an ease with wandering, with transitive passages, with a gentler hand taking hold of the reader, etc. Instead, novel-writing for me is the building of ever more elaborate structures, designed to carry ever more weight.

A long ramble to get to this: on one level details in making a setting carry the more obvious virtues -- placing the characters somewhere, giving them things with which they can interact; in creating an atmosphere and a tone; and in painting a picture for the reader's imagination. But other levels are possible. Setting as 'animated environment' can feed your sense of the characters in it; can foreshadow elements of plot; can reveal theme.

Take some opening scenes in Gardens as examples, and see how they relate to subsequent scenes for those select characters. Whiskeyjack and Fiddler on Mock's Hold: high above a burning city, in a place of power. There's smoke and the smell of carnage -- they are above it but only moments from descending into it. But we don't see that bit. They are on stonework, but it's cracked, and their backs are to the sea. All of these details shapes the reader's sense of them to some extent. When next we see them, they are on the ground, far away from Malaz City, surrounded in destruction and desolation. It's a different place, but their descent began in the prologue, if you see what I mean. And even then, they were only a short time earlier under the ground itself.

If we look to Kruppe, things get a little more complicated. Kruppe and his city are the same things; just as his language and attitude (and mystery) reflect the exotic, byzantine confusion of Darujhistan, so too his half-mocking smile and spark in the eye invite you into the labyrinthine cityscape (and the literally over-the-top assassin/Crokus chase). Kruppe is both flashy but on close examination somewhat scuffed, stained. He has a cherubic face, but plenty hides behind that. And so on. His voice is the city's voice, and it begins in a dream, as all great cities do.

Where is all this going? It goes here. Three storm clouds converging over Lake Azure, into which Whiskeyjack and co. are headed. A reader comments that I'm too smart to now say that there was deliberate portent in the detail of three clouds warring over the lake. Hmm. It's been too many years since that for me to be more specific than this: I could have written 'there was a storm over the lake,' and left it at that. The foreshadow is obvious enough. But, if I'd written that description, I would have immediately seen the foreshadowing element -- it's almost too cinematic and verges on cliche. I could then have changed it to two storm clouds, but then, that wouldn't have made sense; or rather, it would have been suggestive but inaccurately so. There are three forces converging on the city. Two storm clouds would have been lazy and misleading; careless.

Of course there are three storm-clouds. Of course this detail is relevant. It's how short stories work.

Uh oh. This ain't a short story though, is it? And therein lies the problem. I know what I'm up to; I know how I think and how I write. And to make matters worse, everything I put into a narrative is saying (pleading, begging) 'you can trust me, honest.' But I'm not taking the reader by the hand. I've invited them into a place, left them standing, looking round, wandering a bit but not far, not far at all. And every now and then I tap a shoulder, point, nod to over there, or here. And that's it.

Re-readers will nod and smile. First-timers will blink, bewildered -- and will decide to either trust me or not. I really want them to trust me, but I don't know how to manage that... beyond making sure that everything fits, that everything has meaning.

A virtue or a flaw in my writing? Maybe both. You see, I already know that world, but the only details I show you are the important ones. There's no filler. And that's not fair.

And the structure is such a crazed, manic machine, an engineer's nightmare, a spider's acid trip, it's really no wonder that readers will doubt, and on occasion give up on the effort, on the trust I so desperately ask for.

So, to all you new readers on this, I am ever amazed and slightly astonished to find you staying with me. I tell myself that what is happening is a kind of education process: read me this way, it's the only way. Pay attention! You will be tested on all of this, I guarantee it. Stay with me and in turn I will promise you that it will be a blast.

And even better, then you'll have all those re-reads, when things will really get wild.

You can find the entire article on Tor.com - The Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: Gardens of the Moon, Chapters 16 and 17

Monday, September 6, 2010

Book Review: The Uncrowned King by Rowena Cory Daniells

Title: The Uncrowned King
Author: Rowena Cory Daniells
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Solaris (5 Aug 2010)
ISBN 10: 1907519041
ISBN 13: 978-1907519048
Series: Book 2 of King Rolen's Kin trilogy

Thirteen year old Piro watches powerless as her father’s enemies march on his castle. A traitor whispers poison in the King’s ear, undermining his trust in her brother, Byren.

Determined to prove his loyalty, Byren races across the path of the advancing army, towards the Abbey. Somehow, he must get there in time to convince the Abbot to send his warriors to defend the castle.

Meanwhile, the youngest of King Rolen’s sons, Fyn, has barely begun his training as an Abbey mystic, but he wakes in a cold sweat, haunted by dreams of betrayal...


Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Review: Animythical Tales by Sarah Totton


Title: Animythical Tales
Author: Sarah Totton
Trade Paperback: 126 pages
Publisher: Fantastic Books (27 February 2010)
ISBN 10: 1604599324
ISBN 13: 978-1604599329

"In this elegant volume, award-winning author Sarah Totton takes her readers on speculative journeys of the heart and mind that will both challenge and engage you. Within these tales, readers will learn the meaning of darkness and pain and fear. Yet they will also learn about love and happiness and laughter. Sarah Totton explores the full kaleidoscope of the human heart and peels it back, one layer at a time. She offers her readers a full palette of emotions and stories to sift through, never settling, never holding back, and never flinching. Whether she is writing about the loss of innocence through dark revelations, the point to which a human mind can be stretched before succumbing to the magic of faerie, or something as preposterous as cloud-fishing in a world with pink yaks, the stories in Animythical Tales are always told with an eye toward revealing something important about the human condition. If you have ever yearned to fall into fabulous adventures in unforgettable worlds, Animythical Tales is the collection for you."

Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Hawkwood and the Kings by Paul Kearney

Title: Hawkwood and the Kings
Author: Paul Kearney
Paperback: 704 pages
Publisher: Solaris (5 Aug 2010)
ISBN 10: 1906735700
ISBN 13: 978-1906735708
Series: The Monarchies of God - Volume 1

The western world is burning...

For Richard Hawkwood and his crew, a desperate venture to carry refugees to the uncharted land across the Great Western Ocean offers the only chance of escape from the Inceptines' pyres.

In the East, Lofantyr, Abeleyn and Mark - three of the five Ramusian Kings - have defied the cruel pontiff's purge and must fight to hold their thrones through excommunication, intrigue and civil war.

In the quiet monastery city of Charibon, two humble monks make a discovery that will change the whole world.

Aekir, the Holy City, has fallen and all now seems lost, but even on the eve of destruction the Faithful still war amongst themselves...


Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sony's New e-Readers

If this news from engadget is true, the new Sony e-readers will rock.

The pictures look like they were taken during an internal presentation. So we don't know if this is the real deal but it only makes sense that Sony soon commercializes new and better reading devices responding to the recent launch of Amazon's Kindle 3, which is using the new E Ink Pearl display giving the reader 50% better contrast (You can check this article on iReader Review to see the difference between Kindle 2's and Kindle 3's displays).

On the picture above, you can clearly read 6 very interesting characteristics of the new Sony readers:
  • Full clear touch screen
  • Multiple language dictionaries
  • Faster page turn
  • Increased built-in storage capacity
  • Intelligent zoom
  • Enhanced battery life
Of those six, three made my heart beat faster:

Full clear touch screen: No additional layer over the E Ink display means that the glare that the touchscreen devices were cursed with won't be there anymore. So the reader won't have to hold her device in strange angles to avoid the nearest source of light.

Multiple language dictionaries: This is awesome! I read in a few different languages and I'm not at all lazy about checking words or terms that I'm not familiar with. This especially in Spanish which happens to be my weakest language.

Enhanced battery life: This is not as important as the two above however longer battery life is always a good enhancement. Furthermore 25% of improvement is quite significant.

The remaining three characteristics are good to have but I, personally, am not too excited about them:

Faster page turn: Page turns never bothered me that much. Once the user gets used to her device, it becomes automatic to click the page-turn button a few words before the end of a page so that right after the last few words are read the page turns.

Increased built-in capacity: 1200 e-books in 2GB of memory. This is a significant investment in terms of books (I know there a lot of public domain ones). I've yet to come close to fill my device's memory with my e-books, web articles and work-related documents. For me it's a matter of organization. I usually get rid of the Web articles and work documents once I'm done with them.

Intelligent zoom: I have to see this working before being able to comment about it. I usually don't read PDFs so I'd better leave that uncommented but it seems like it is a good feature to read newspapers and magazines.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Depository

I've been buying my books, personal and professional alike, on Book Depository for a while. And on every occasion I've been telling people how satisfied I am with their service and with their prices.

This morning, I was very happy to read that Book Depository's sales have increased by more than 20%. They have deserved this kind of success.

I'm sure most of you know them already. However if you don't, have a look at their Web site and compare the prices and the availability of some of the titles that you are interested in. They may be based in the UK however they offer free worldwide shipping.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Preview Chapter of The Ragged Man by Tom Lloyd

Tor just posted a preview chapter of Tom Lloyd's upcoming book. The Ragged Man, book four of the Twilight Reign will be released by Gollancz in the UK on 19 August 2010, and by Pyr in the US on 24 August 2010.

Blurb

Continuing the powerful epic that started with THE STORMCALLER; the Lord Isak is dead, his armies and entire tribe in disarray. It falls to King Emin to continue the war alone, and the Menin are only too happy to meet his challenge. In Byora, Ruhen is developing his 'Saviour' persona. The Harlequins start preaching in his name and many of the pilgrims who flock to him are recruited to be 'Children', disciples who spread Ruhen's message. All over the Land people are starting to see Ruhen as the answer to their troubles. A showdown is coming: battle lines are finally drawn and the atrocities quickly mount. The spectre of the Great War looms, but in this age the Gods cannot and will not come to King Emin's aid. With the peoples of the Land turning against Emin and his few remaining allies, their only chance for survival lies in the hands of a dead man.

Click here to read the preview chapter on Tor.com.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Review: The King's Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells

Title: The King's Bastard
Author: Rowena Cory Daniells
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Solaris (31 June 2010)
ISBN 10: 1907519017
ISBN 13: 978-1907519017
Series: Book 1 of King Rolen's Kin Trilogy

"Cloaked in silent winter snow the Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours spread of new Affinity Seeps, places where untamed power wells up. Meanwhile, King Rolen plans his jubilee unaware of the growing threat to those he loves.

By royal decree, all those afflicted with Affinity must serve the Abbey or face death. Sent to the Abbey because of his innate Affinity, the King’s youngest son, Fyn, trains to become a warrior monk. Unfortunately, he’s a gentle dreamer and the other acolytes bully him. The only way he can escape them is to serve the Abbey Mystic, but his Affinity is weak.

Fiercely loyal, thirteen year-old Piro is horrified to discover she is also cursed with unwanted Affinity. It broke their mother’s heart to send Fyn away, so she hides her affliction. But, when Fyn confesses his troubles, Piro risks exposure to help him.

Even though Byren Kingson is only seven minutes younger than his twin, Lence, who is the king's heir, Byren has never hungered for the Rolencian throne. When a Seer predicts that he will kill Lence, he laughs. But Lence Kingsheir sees Byren’s growing popularity and resents it. Enduring loyalty could be Byren’s greatest failing."


Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Review: Black Hand Gang (No Man's World) by Pat Kelleher

Title: Black Hand Gang (No Man's World)
Author: Pat Kelleher
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Abaddon Books (16 Jun 2010)
ISBN-10: 1906735352
ISBN-13: 978-1906735357

On November 1st, 1916, nine-hundred men of the 13th Battalion of The Pennine Fusiliers vanished without trace from the battlefield, only to find themselves stranded on an alien planet. There they must learn to survive in a frightening and hostile environment, forced to rely on dwindling supplies of ammo and rations as the natives of this strange new world begin to take an interest. However, the aliens amongst them are only the first of their worries, as a sinister and arcane threat beings to take hold from within their own ranks!

Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

News from Abercrombie's "The Heroes"

Joe Abercrombie's The Heroes is probably one of the most anticipated books for me. I love his style, I love his characters, I love his stories and I just can't wait for his next book. It is going to be a long 167-day period.

In the meantime, you can read the exciting blurb of The Heroes on the author's blog:

"They say Black Dow’s killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbour, is not about to stand smiling by while he claws his way any higher. The orders have been given and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they’ve brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.

Bremer dan Gorst, disgraced master swordsman, has sworn to reclaim his stolen honour on the battlefield. Obsessed with redemption and addicted to violence, he’s far past caring how much blood gets spilled in the attempt. Even if it’s his own.

Prince Calder isn’t interested in honour, and still less in getting himself killed. All he wants is power, and he’ll tell any lie, use any trick, and betray any friend to get it. Just as long as he doesn’t have to fight for it himself.

Curnden Craw, the last honest man in the North, has gained nothing from a life of warfare but swollen knees and frayed nerves. He hardly even cares who wins any more, he just wants to do the right thing. But can he even tell what that is with the world burning down around him?

Over three bloody days of battle, the fate of the North will be decided. But with both sides riddled by intrigues, follies, feuds and petty jealousies, it is unlikely to be the noblest hearts, or even the strongest arms that prevail...

Three men. One battle. No Heroes."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Holidays: 3 Books & 3 Reviews

Finally!!!

As you may have noticed, my blog has been quieter these last past few weeks. It's just that work has been so hectic, I've barely found some time to breath. But tomorrow, I'm going on a well-deserved holiday. I'm going to be away for 2 weeks. I may not be able to read as much as I wish due to the nature of the holiday but I'm bringing with me 3 Books:


The King's Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells

The Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours of new Affinity Seeps, places where the untamed power wells up. By royal decree all those afflicted with Affinity must serve the Abbey or face death. Sent to the Ab bey, the King’s youngest son, Fyn, trains to become a warrior monk. Elsewhere others are tainted with Affinity and must fight to survive. Political intrigue and magic combine in this explosive first book in an exciting new fantasy trilogy.

Hawkwood and the Kings by Paul Kearney

The world is in turmoil. In the east the savage Mer duks, followers of the Prophet Ahrimuz, have cap tured the holy city of Aekir. The western kingdoms are too distracted by internecine bickering to intervene and the Chruch seems more obsessed with rooting out heresy. It is an age where men go to the stake for the taint of magic in their blood, where gunpowder and cannon co-exit with werewolves and sorcerers. It is the turning point when two get reilgions will fight to the death and the common folk will struggle to merely survive.

Animythical Tales by Sarah Totton

In this elegant volume, award-winning author Sarah Totton takes her readers on speculative journeys of the heart and mind that will both challenge and engage you. Within these tales, readers will learn the meaning of darkness and pain and fear. Yet they will also learn about love and happiness and laughter. Sarah Totton explores the full kaleidoscope of the human heart and peels it back, one layer at a time. She offers her readers a full palette of emotions and stories to sift through, never settling, never holding back, and never flinching. Whether she is writing about the loss of innocence through dark revelations, the point to which a human mind can be stretched before succumbing to the magic of faerie, or something as preposterous as cloud-fishing in a world with pink yaks, the stories in Animythical Tales are always told with an eye toward revealing something important about the human condition. If you have ever yearned to fall into fabulous adventures in unforgettable worlds, Animythical Tales is the collection for you.

And When I come back, I am going to post 3 Reviews:

Dante's Journey by J C Marino

A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world-Hell itself. Joe was in hot pursuit of his family's killer, drug lord Filippo Argenti, when both were killed, and isn't about to let a little thing like death slow him down. So, with a healthy dose of New England stubbornness and the help of a mysterious guide, Virgil DiMini, Joe must evade angry demons, and search ever-lower through the rings of the original Dante's Inferno in hopes of finding justice for his wife and children. However, Joe will soon discover that behind every sin lies a secret and each secret revealed could land Joe in an eternity of hot water... VERY hot.

Kraken by China Miéville

Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a

lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears?

For curator Billy Harrow it's the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins. It might just be that the creature he's been preserving is more than a biological rarity: there are those who are sure it's a god.

A god that someone is hoping will end the world.


No Man's World: Black Hand Gang by Pat Kelleher

On November 1st 1916, 900 men of the 13th Battalion of the Pennine Fusiliers vanish without trace from the battlefield only to find themselves on an alien planet. There they must learn to survive in a hostile environment, while facing a sinister threat from within their own ranks and a confrontation with an inscrutable alien race!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Review: Necroscope: Harry and the Pirates by Brian Lumley

Title: Necroscope: Harry and the Pirates - The Lost Years
Author: Brian Lumley
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Solaris (13 May 2010)
ISBN-10: 1906735646
ISBN-13: 978-1906735647

Harry Keogh makes his long-awaited return as the Necroscope in this collection of novellas ans short stories. Set during the fan-favorite Lost Years era of Keogh's career, these tales see the Necroscope do battle with horrors both real and imagined, eternal et ethereal. In "For The Dead Travel Slowly" Harry Keogh's encounter with an old school friend leads to a fight for his very soul against an ancient evil lurking in the woods. "Harry and the Pirates" finds the Necroscope hearing the confession of a long-dead pirate but is all as it seems or is Harry being taken for a fool?

"The world is full of dead things. How would you feel if you could hear their thoughts?"

Please find the rest of the review on Speculative Book Review...

Monday, July 5, 2010

SFF Blog Recap

28 Jun - 4 Jul

Welcome to this week's SFF Blog Recap! I enjoy gathering these very interesting posts every week. I hope you enjoy reading them too.

Please go to Speculative Book Review to read the entire post.