Past Front Page Posts

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28 April

We took the Easter break to make some changes to the site that we’ve been planning for a while now. It’s been almost three years since our last site ‘facelift’ and a bit of redecorating seem called for. Along the way we are revisiting some of the past entries and upgrading them, we started with a limited edition set that we’d never taken out of the publisher’s shrink-wrap...

The Grant gift edition of King and Straub’s classic 'Black House' and 'The Talisman' set. Oversized and with 22 colour plates by Rick Berry. 'The Talisman' copy signed and limited by Straub and Berry. 'The Talisman' is a personal favourite of ours:

'On a brisk autumn day, a twelve-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America--and into another realm.

One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother's life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest begin. . .             

      

We went to the annual Easter book sale but it was a little disappointing this year, we barely came home with three bags, but we did find a few nice trade paperbacks:

    

We don’t really do a lot on horror but obviously there is the overlap between genres and we’ve read our far share of horror novels along the way, particularly Stephen King, but we ourselves had forgotten some of the really great books on the shelves and thought we’d share, like this charmer...

This is ‘The Adversary Cycle Mural’ by Jeremy Caniglia commissioned by Borderlands Press for it’s signed limited edition set of F.Paul Wilson’s six book 'Adversary Cycle’ saga. The spine of each book has one ‘panel’ of eight,  two panels are on the ‘presentation box’ sides.  Check out the page for more details on the books and 'The Adversary Cycle’. 

The set stands out for us given that the first book  is ‘The Keep’. One of those great books you never forget, a great read, crap movie though:

“Something is murdering my men.”

Thus reads the message received from a German commander stationed in a small castle high in the remote Transylvanian Alps. And when an elite Nazi SS extermination squad is dispatched to solve the problem, the men find a something that’s both powerful and terrifying. Invisible and silent, the enemy selects one victim per night, leaving the bloodless and mutilated corpses behind to terrify its future victims. Panicked, the Nazis bring in a local expert on folklore–who just happens to be Jewish–to shed some light on the mysterious happenings. And unbeknownst to anyone, there is another visitor on his way–a man who awoke from a nightmare and immediately set out to meet his destiny.

The battle has begun: On one side, the ultimate evil created by man, and on the other… the unthinkable, unstoppable, unknowable terror that man has inevitably awakened.






7 April

We try not to judge books by their covers but when we saw Paul Crilley’s 'Poison City’ at a sale we snapped it and the sequel ‘Clockwork City’ up. We’ve just completed reading both and have to say that it was a fun ride, Crilley goes for dark and grim noir with a twist of South African humour. These won’t be that easy to find for long

The name's Gideon Tau, but everyone just calls me London. I work for the Delphic Division, the occult investigative unit of the South African Police Service. My life revolves around two things - finding out who killed my daughter and imagining what I'm going to do to the bastard when I catch him.

I have two friends. The first is my boss, Armitage, a fifty-something DCI from Yorkshire who looks more like someone's mother than a cop. Don't let that fool you. The second is the dog, my magical spirit guide. He talks, he watches TV all day, and he's a mean drunk.

Life is pretty routine - I solve crimes, I search for my daughter's killer. Wash, rinse, repeat. Until the day I'm called out to the murder of a ramanga - a low-key vampire - basically, the tabloid journalist of the vampire world. It looks like an open and shut case. There's even CCTV footage of the killer.

Except... the face on the CCTV footage? It's the face of the man who killed my daughter. I'm about to face a tough choice. Catch her killer or save the world? I can't do both.

It's not looking good for the world.

P.S. if you prefer Cape Town over Durban then this is probably not for you.

P.P.S the blurb for 'Clockwork City' is also worth a gander. Check out ‘C'







Recently a UK bookstore got Orbit to release limited signed hardcover editions (the only UK hardcover) of the following two books, we’ve whinged about this previously, as it still amazes us that someone like N.K. Jemisin doesn’t command a far larger hardcover run.  Anyway we’ve got a copy of each. The first is a book we’re a bit conflicted about, Adrian Selby debuted with ’Snakewood’  and it didn’t exactly blow us away, certainly the  highly developed system of alchemy and the use of poison or ‘brews' must be unique and was well executed. Stlll the book lacked something, but if the reviews are to be taken at face value Selby has stepped up his game in ‘The Winter Road’. And the second is a short story collection by the multi-award winning author of ‘The Broken Earth’ trilogy.

 

We think that the first time we had a Peter Andrew Jones cover on our home page was with Jack Womack’s ‘Ambient’ and we’re quite happy to add a brace of MZB’s with his covers to our already quite large page of Bradley works. Really striking stuff, love ‘The Survivors’ cover most!

  

We’ve finally managed to get all three of Sean Williams ‘The Change’ Trilogy in TPB. A great fusion of Australianism and fantasy with cover art by Shaun Tan of course!

    

18 March 2019

Rarely have we been so torn on the first image on a page, but although we love the ERB Burroughs books the new Marlon James fantasy with the cover art by Venezuelan illustrator Pablo Gerardo Camacho on pictorial boards just blew us away, hopefully the story does too: 

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy's scent—from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers—he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

                

And now of course those fantastic ERB editions, it looks like we’re in for at least one of these annually now, the latest set will be the fourth to date and is equally as stunning as its predecessors. As usual there are two editions, one ERB and one Grosset & Dunlap, both slipcased with numerous colour plates and 88 B&W illustrations. More about these on our Burroughs page.


And if that isn’t enough in one update, what do you do if you’ve won every award possible in science fiction on debut? The award winning Ann Leckie’s answer is to try fantasy, so here is a novel sure to be shortlisted for just about every fantasy award this year:

Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods, and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this breathtaking first fantasy novel from Ann Leckie, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven's Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven's watch, the city flourishes.
But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods.

It is into this unrest that the warrior Eolo, aide to Mawat, the true Lease arrives. And in seeking to help Mawat reclaim his city, Eolo discovers that the Raven's Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself...and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever.









03 March 2019

We’re keen to see how our latest new arrival fares, we’ve snagged a couple of copies of the signed limited edition based on the publishers hype, and we know how that can go… a stunning looking edition is a good start though.

The blurb:

'There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn't what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family's power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .'









Brandon Sanderson has been self-publishing lavish anniversary editions of his earlier works starting with ‘ Elantris’ and then ‘The Mistborn’ trilogy, which we’ve just received the final instalment of. As usual, these ‘Dragonsteel Entertainment’ books, are bound in premium bonded-leather, smyth-sewn, printed in 2-color offset black and red inks on quality, acid-free paper, full-color endpapers by Marc Simonetti, gilded pages, and two-color foiling on the cover. A 24-page 4-color offset art gallery starts off the edition and features never-before seen artwork and fanart.  All three make for a stunning set. See our Sanderson page

   

And just in case you missed it, this series was based on the apparently novel premise ‘what if the Dark Lord won?’, as opposed to ‘Ruin of Kings’, which has the premise ‘what if you weren’t the hero?’, indeed, it’s a puzzle. The original trilogy has a number of series additions, Sanderson is prolific. We’ve just picked up yet another set of the B-Format paperbacks on sale:

     

And lastly, the latest, and final, novella in the 'Demon Cycle' from Peter V. Brett  published by Subterranean Press, nice! 

'Humanity has been brought to the brink of extinction. Each night, the world is overrun by demons—bloodthirsty creatures of nightmare that have been hunting the surface for over 300 years. A scant few hamlets and half-starved city-states are all that remain of a once proud civilization, and it is only by hiding behind wards, ancient symbols with the power to repel the demons, that they survive. A handful of Messengers brave the night to keep the lines of communication open between the increasingly isolated populace.

The hamlet of Tibbet’s Brook is far from everywhere, and the folk like it that way. People from the Brook keep their secrets close, and don’t care for neighbours looking over their fences. Its seven boroughs rely on one another for resources and support in the night, but they are scattered and fiercely proud, answering only to their Speakers and nursing grudges that go back generations.

For nearly fifty years, through good times and bad, Town Speaker Selia Barren has been the force holding the Brook together. But there are grudges against her as well, fed in bitter hearts for half a century. If Tibbet’s Brook is to survive, Selia must lead her people against the demons in the night even as she confronts those of her past.

Fifty years ago, Selia nearly tore the town in half to love a woman.

Now, it’s happening again.'

Signed limited edition

 




17 February 2019

Last update we showcased the new Centipede Press ‘Elric’ editions and as these things go, next book sale we found four of Moorcock’s 'Eternal Champion' series in ‘White Wolf'  hardcover and five of the series in LF ‘Millennium’ trade paperback. These editions are (unbelievably) over twenty years old now, but we do remember deciding that the Millennium (UK) editions were our preference but having a look at these, we’d certainly be keen to get our hands on a complete White Wolf set. Here’s a comparison of book editions of the same books (more on the Moorcock page):

  

  

Mercedes Lackey is the latest author to graduate to her own page, having published over 140 books and writing novels at a rate of 5.5 per year on average, she has been called one of the "most prolific science fiction and fantasy writers of all time". We got a few of her ‘Elemental Masters’ series about an Earth where magic exists and focuses on people who have magical control over air, water, fire, or earth. Each book in the series is loosely based on a fairy tale e.g.:

The Gates of Sleep, based on Sleeping Beauty     Phoenix And Ashes, based on Cinderella      The Serpent's Shadow, based on Snow White

  

We’ve just got in 'The Coldfire’ trilogy in B-Format paperback, we'd have to say that we did enjoy reading this set some time ago (in the wonderful DAW paperback copies), and if the following blurb intrests you this may be a series to check out:

'Over a millennium ago, Erna, a seismically active yet beautiful world, was settled by colonists from far-distant Earth.  But the seemingly habitable planet was fraught with perils no one could have foretold, and the colonists were soon caught in a desperate battle for survival against the fae, a terrifying natural force with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, drawing forth a person’s worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them life.'  

  

28 January 2019

Having just stated that, in our view, Centipede Press published the most stunning book of 2018 (Leiber’s ‘Swords and Deviltry’), they go and release these, surely contenders for the best books in 2019: 

Finally, one of the true classics in the sword and sorcery genre gets the deluxe presentation that it has always deserved. These are archival editions, with gorgeous illustrations and featuring guest introductions from some of the top writers in the field. Each volume signed by the author, introducer and artists. 

Now, for the first time, the titles, contents, and order of the Elric stories appear exactly as Michael Moorcock has long intended, making the Centipede Press editions (ultimately nine volumes, with a tenth volume of archival artwork) the most definitive sets of these books ever made available. The first three books have just been released: 'Elric of Melniboné', 'The Fortress of the Pearl', and 'The Sailor on the Seas of Fate’. Limited to 300 signed copies, these define the term 'collectors item'!

Check out our Moorcock page for more!








Ah yes, SF romance, it’s popular, but not our thing, but Subterranean Press does a fine job of putting out something special so we find ourselves with the latest from Ilona Andrews (pen name of Ilona Gordon and Andrew Gordon, an American husband-and-wife duo who write urban fantasy and romantic fiction together):

The World of Kinsmen

Family is everything. Talent is power. And revenge is sweet.

In a distant, future world Kinsmen—small powerful groups of genetically and technologically advanced families—control vast financial empires. They are their own country, their own rulers, and their only limits are other Kinsmen. The struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport: in business, on the battlefield...and sometimes in the bedroom.

Contains three novellas/short stories:

Silent Blade:

Old hatreds die hard. Old love dies harder.

Silver Shark

Claire Shannon is a killer…and her weapon is her mind.

A Mere Formality

Dust jacket and full-color interior illustrations by Luisa J. Preißler

Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies, bound in leather




Hype, it’s a thing, publishers try to talk a book or author up, heavy favourable reviews are encouraged etc., sometimes books live up to the expectations created, an example would be ‘Red Rising’, and sometimes not. Here’s one that ’s got everyone foaming at the mouth i.e. 'I don’t think it’s too soon for me to say that 'The Gutter Prayer' will be the best fantasy debut of 2019’ kinda thing.

The Black Iron Legacy #1

The city of Guerdon stands eternal. A refuge from the war that rages beyond its borders. But in the ancient tunnels deep beneath its streets, a malevolent power has begun to stir.

When three thieves - an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man - are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.

Cari is a drifter whose past and future are darker than she can know.

Rat is a Ghoul, whose people haunt the city's underworld.

Spar is a Stone Man, subject to a terrible disease that is slowly petrifying his flesh.

They alone stand against the coming darkness. As conspiracies unfold and secrets are revealed, their friendship will be tested to the limit. If they fail, all will be lost and the streets of Guerdon will run with blood.

Signed limited edition - only 700 hardcover copies made.

DJ by Richard Anderson.

We’ll let you have our review soonish…



10 January 2019

Welcome to the New Year at Wyrdbooks!, we have some amazing books in the pipeline already in 2019 and we look forward to sharing the experience with you all. We like to start each year with a bit of retrospection on the prior one, and as years go 2018 was certainly a bumper year for new books, with more new editions joining the collection than any prior since 2012. A number of great trilogies were concluded including Anthony Ryan’s 'Draconis Memoria’ and Sylvian Neuvel’s ‘Sleeping Giants’, and collectors editions from the likes of Centipede Press and Subterranean Press went into overdrive. Hopefully you have some additions to your collection that you are pleased about. 2018 continued the TV/movie adaptions of SF with ‘ Altered Carbon’, ‘Ready Player One’, ‘Mortal Engines’ and ‘Bird Box’ to name a few, and we won’t even try to list all the great movies but ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ certainly springs to mind, hopefully 2019 delivers near as much.  

The book that takes out the ‘Best Book Published in 2019’ for us is the the deluxe edition of ‘Swords and Deviltry’ from Centipede Press. Only 50 oversized editions were made and we were lucky enough to have made the cut, the image is the limited edition which is a lot smaller but shares the same artwork, as we can’t fit the deluxe version on our scanner!. 









Our 'Book of the Year' is something of a surprise, it was not the easiest of reads, being incredibly detailed, but hugely rewarding. 

'While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya.

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Thomas Senlin, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, is drawn to the Tower by scientific curiosity and the grandiose promises of a guidebook. The luxurious Baths of the Tower seem an ideal destination for a honeymoon, but soon after arriving, Senlin loses Marya in the crowd. Senlin’s search for Marya carries him through madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress.

But if he hopes to ever find his wife, Thomas Senlin must do more than survive. This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.'

Look out for the Subterranean Press limited editions in 2019, we expect something special!




Our runners up in 2018 are:

    We’ve been busy trying to get things in order for the year ahead with new shelves and we’ve rediscovered some things long forgotten such as this gem, the five issues of Harlan Ellison’s ‘Dream Corridor’ published by Dark Horse Comics in 1995.

Each issue of this critically acclaimed series features an introduction by Ellison in comic form. Among the series’ highlights is John Byrne’s four-part adaptation of “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” one of the ten most reprinted stories in the English language. The comic adaptation of this is presented along with the original text story, making for an enlightening comparison. Ellison also contributes a new story for each issue, inspired by the cover art of each issue.