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7 September 2019

Back in 2016 we raved about ‘Red Rising’ and noted that the book had a number of descriptions on Goodreads including : "It's like 'The Martian' marries the 'Hunger Games', then the 'Hunger Games' gets into an affair with ‘A Game of Thrones.’ Fast forward to 2019 and the fifth book (2nd of a new trilogy) in the ‘Red Rising’ series has just been released and apparently it’s brutal and huge and we note that descriptions on Goodreads for this instalment include: "a story where Star Wars meets (finally) Alien”.

"For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?

Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury.But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance.

On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him?

Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies.

Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption.

As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age."

   


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We have a ‘thing' for heroic fantasy and favour a number of authors including Joe Abercrobie, Scott Lynch and Anthony Ryan, but lets be clear , the greatest of all was David Gemmell. Boy, do we miss getting our annual fix from him! In 2008 the David Gemmell Awards were created by authors who were inspired by Gemmell, and in 2013 the first anthology in honour of Gemmell - ‘Legends'. Limited signed hardcover editions of all three were published with 'Legends 3' (published this year) to be the last unfortunately. Steel yourself, throw caution to the wind, and dare to enter the realm of Legends..

  

And speaking of heroes, although we called out the arrival of Anthony Ryan’s latest 'Vaelin Al Sorna novel last update, we received the UK edition this week and kodos to Orbit for sticking to the same art design as the first trilogy! This guy has always looked the part, the guy on the ACE cover may as well be Roman!                                                                                                              

 

We didn’t talk about Andrew Caldecott’s ‘Rotherweird’ trilogy when we got the first two books as we were waiting on getting the third, ‘Lost Acre’ which has just been released. We’re currently reading the first book, having had it recommended by a mate, and early days but good. Love the whole sense of quirkyness.

  

'The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.

For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused. But secrets have a way of leaking out.

Two inquisitive outsiders have arrived: Jonah Oblong, to teach modern history at Rotherweird School (nothing local and nothing before 1800), and the sinister billionaire Sir Veronal Slickstone, who has somehow got permission to renovate the town's long-derelict Manor House.

Slickstone and Oblong, though driven by conflicting motives, both strive to connect past and present, until they and their allies are drawn into a race against time - and each other. The consequences will be lethal and apocalyptic.

Welcome to Rotherweird!                                                                                              ✣

We hope some day to have a place where ‘coffee table’ books are relevant and not just collectors of dust. We have a number of great art and refrence books but rarely get to browse through them as intended, needless to say we still cannot avoid picking them up at sales, like this beauty here:

Bradbury: An Illustrated Life, in this lavishly illustrated labor of love, Jerry Weist -- Sotheby's fantasy and science fiction collectibles expert and longtime Ray Bradbury friend and collector -- gives us a unique "visual biography," a one-of-a-kind celebration of the life, career, and genius of one of America's most beloved literary giants. The works of Ray Bradbury have been read and revered for more than half a century.  The source of "The Martian Chronicles," father of "The Illustrated Man," and master brewer of "Dandelion Wine," Bradbury has penned stories, novels, stage plays, and screenplays that have long demonstrated the limitlessness of the human imagination and pure power of the word.

"Bradbury: An Illustrated Life" features magazine illustrations, movie stills and posters, comic book art, letters, scripts, book jackets, and paintings -- all expertly selected and insightfully explained -- that trace an incomparable artist's journey through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Here also are rare and illuminating gems from some of his renowned compatriots and collaborators, including excerpts from the journal of legendary director Fran ois Truffaut, written during the making of the motion picture version of Bradbury's classic "Fahrenheit 451."

From his groundbreaking involvement with EC Comics -- which would ultimately inspire generations of comic book creators and graphic novel artists -- through his many decades of literary success,as well as his award-winning work in films, theater, and television, to the present day, the world of the incomparable Ray Bradbury comes vibrantly alive in words and pictures, in photo and ink, in conceptual art and bold living color. "Bradbury: An Illustrated Life" belongs in the collection of anyone who has ever been moved, astounded, elated, terrified, or inspired by the tales, ideas, dreams, and magnificent visions of America's preeminent storyteller.

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Howling Dark (Sun Eater #2) by Christopher Ruocchio

Hadrian Marlowe is lost.

For half a century, he has searched the farther suns for the lost planet of Vorgossos, hoping to find a way to contact the elusive alien Cielcin. He has not succeeded, and for years has wandered among the barbarian Normans as captain of a band of mercenaries.

Determined to make peace and bring an end to nearly four hundred years of war, Hadrian must venture beyond the security of the Sollan Empire and among the Extrasolarians who dwell between the stars. There, he will face not only the aliens he has come to offer peace, but contend with creatures that once were human, with traitors in his midst, and with a meeting that will bring him face to face with no less than the oldest enemy of mankind.

If he succeeds, he will usher in a peace unlike any in recorded history. If he fails...the galaxy will burn.

Publisher - Gollancz

Hardcover 

Signed limited- first edition

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Under Heaven (Under Heaven #1) by Guy Gavriel Kay 

"Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father's last great battles. In recognition of his labors and his filial piety, an unlikely source has sent him a dangerous gift: 250 Sardian horses.

You give a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You give him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor."

Exquisitely written, completely engrossing and extremely satisfying. Shen Tai is an unusual man--thoughtful, but also a man of action. A scholar, but capable with a weapon. He must decide if he will pursue the dangerous life of a man at court when he returns from his self-imposed exile among the ghosts of the battlefield, and he must make his decision at full speed with assassins pursuing him and members of the Imperial Court trying to use him.

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20 August 2019

This week we’ve added two Easton books to the collection, one published in 1986 and one in 2019!  Fredric Brown’s first foray into SF in 1949 remains a classic as it is possibly the first  “recursive science fiction novel”, defined as science fiction that takes as its subject matter, at least partially, all the various themes, personages and history of the genre itself, (wow that was pretty geeky) but it's a easy fun read. Really pleased to get this one.

 

'BUG-EYED MONSTERS ON BROADWAY

Pulp SF magazine editor Keith Winton was answering a letter from a teenage fan when the first moon rocket fell back to Earth and blew him away. But where to? Greenville, New York, looked the same, but Bems (Bug-Eyed Monsters) just like the ones on the cover of Startling Stories walked the streets without attracting undue comment. And when he brought out a half-dollar coin in a drugstore, the cops wanted to shoot him on sight as an Arcturian spy.Wait a minute. Seven-foot purple moon-monsters? Earth at war with Arcturus? General Dwight D. Eisenhower in command of Venus Sector?

What mad universe was this?

One thing was for sure: Keith Winton had to find out fast - or he'd be good and dead, in this universe or any other.’

We’ve got the Boardman (UK) first edition in facimilie dust jacket and we have a Dutton DJ which features Brown dressed as an Arcturian - worth checking out, just saying...

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The latest from Centipede Press is reminiscent of their edition of ‘The Averoigne Chronicles’ by Clarke Ashton Smith, a stunner.

This is Centipede Press’s second collection of stories by the late Wilum Pugmire (1951-2019) and contains the author’s hand-picked greatest stories and prose poems. Profusely illustrated by Tom Brown, the book also features a dustjacket by Camille Alquier, frontispiece by Matthew Jaffe, and an interior illustrations by Gwabryel.

The book also has an introduction by S.T. Joshi. 

Limited to 300 copies for sale, the book is bound in cloth and has a handsome blood-red ribbon marker and very nice deckled edges. Each copy is signed by Wilum Pugmire, S.T. Joshi, Camille Alquier, Tom Brown, and Matthew Jafffe.

Loaded with original artwork.

Ribbon marker, head and tail bands, Smyth-sewn binding, deckled edge.

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A few years ago we discovered ‘Blood Song’ by Anthony Ryan at an airport bookshop, one flight later and we were hooked. Thus began the ‘Raven’s Shadow’ trilogy featuring Vaelin Al Sorna. A great trilogy and Ryan followed up with a steampunk trilogy ‘The  Draconis Memoria’ which was good, but folks, like Druss or Logen, you can’t keep a good man down, or out of action - Vaelin returns in a new trilogy: 

'PEACE NEVER LASTS

Vaelin Al Sorna is a living legend, his name known across the Realm. It was his leadership that overthrew empires, his blade that won hard-fought battles - and his sacrifice that defeated an evil more terrifying than anything the world had ever seen. Yet he cast aside his earned glory for a quiet life in the Realm's northern reaches.

Now whispers have come from across the sea of an army called the Steel Horde, led by a man who believes himself a god. Vaelin has no wish to fight another war, but when he learns that Sherin, the woman he lost long ago, has fallen into the Horde's grasp, he resolves to confront this powerful new threat.

To this end, Vaelin travels to the realms of the Merchant Kings, a land ruled by honour and intrigue. There, as the drums of war thunder across kingdoms riven by conflict, Vaelin learns a terrible truth: that there are some battles that even he cannot hope to win'             

That’s what I’m talking about!

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Willful Child (Willful Child #1) by Steven Erikson "These are the voyages of the starship, A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life life-forms, to boldly blow the...

And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback - a kind of James T Kirk crossed with 'American Dad' - and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through 'the infinite vastness of interstellar space’…"

This is now on our reading list, great blurb and we, whilst not quite ‘Trekkies’ are certainly fans of the original series and of course most recently ‘Discovery’. Hope it’s better than ‘Red Shirts’…

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No sooner had we refreshed our Stephen King page when we picked up a bunch of paperbacks and this beauty with its stunning dust jacket design. We would normally have not included this on the front page but we note that ‘Dr Sleep’ is being released as a movie in October 2019 with Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrence!. 

We certainly look out for that and hopefully it’s a great release.

Building on from one of his most popular novels ever, 'The Shining', in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of 'The Shining') and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless - mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky 12-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the "steam" that children with the "shining" produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father's legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant "shining" power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes "Doctor Sleep."

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan's own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra's soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon

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Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

American Fred Fredericks is making his first trip, his purpose to install a communications system for China's Lunar Science Foundation. But hours after his arrival he witnesses a murder and is forced into hiding.

It is also the first visit for celebrity travel reporter Ta Shu. He has contacts and influence, but he too will find that the moon can be a perilous place for any traveler.

Finally, there is Chan Qi. She is the daughter of the Minister of Finance, and without doubt a person of interest to those in power. She is on the moon for reasons of her own, but when she attempts to return to China, in secret, the events that unfold will change everything - on the moon, and on Earth.

Orbit First Edition Hardcover

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

Easton Press signed edition

Buttons, seriously who can make buttons spooky? Read on...

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28 July

We start with another book that we missed when it first debuted in 2017 but we caught up and we’re happy we did!. The blurp refers to it being a ‘rollicking’ book, and in case you don’t know, it means:  boisterously carefree, joyful, or high-spirited, and if that’s your thing then Nicholas Eames is your guy. 

'Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best -- the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk - or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

It's time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.’

This postcard provided with the book may give you some further  insight 

       

 A second ‘Band‘ novel  is available and Eames is contracted for a third in the series. Great DJ art by Richard Anderson.             

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We have found that there is never a lack of things to collect, but there are those that one wishes they’d started on long ago, the Centipede Press ‘Masters of the Weird Tale’ series is one such thing. Well we’ve finally decided to take it on and we will certainly have some challenges on getting the older editions. Why start now?, well when we saw the William F. Nolan edition, that was it! ( love the David Ho artwork).

Equally at home with crime, science fiction, and horror, Nolan has particularly excelled as a master of the macabre tale. Herein you will find collected over 750 pages of his best work (over 75 stories!), showcasing his career as it has stretched and grown over nearly seventy years. Masters of the Weird Tale: William F. Nolan is a cornerstone volume for any serious collection of modern weird fiction. This collection includes all of Nolan’s classics: “The Small World of Lewis Stilman,” “The Party” (here reprinted under Nolan’s preferred title of “Ashland”), “Death Call,” “Saturday’s Shadow,” “A Lonely Train a’Comin,” “Boyfren’” and dozens of others.

This fine volume is enclosed in a handsome slipcase with ribbon marker and includes 11 full page illustrations by Rodger Gerberding, a frontispiece, title page, and dustjacket by David Ho, a fine introduction by Jason V Brock, a new preface by Nolan himself, and appreciations by Ray Garton, Thomas F. Monteleone, S.T. Joshi, Lisa Morton, and others.

It’s huge!

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Set in the universe of the bestselling 'Three-Body Problem' trilogy, 'The Redemption of Time' continues Cixin Liu's multi-award-winning science fiction saga. This original story by Baoshu―published with Liu's blessing―charts the aftermath of the conflict between humanity and the extraterrestrial Trisolarans.

  "At the end of the fourth year of the Crisis Era, Yun Tianming, riddled with cancer, chose to end his life. But death is no release for Yun Tianming – merely the first step in a journey that will place him on the frontline of a war that has raged since the beginning of time.As Yun Tianming lay dying, his brain was extracted from his body, flash frozen, put aboard a spacecraft and launched on a trajectory to intercept the Trisolarian First Fleet. It was a desperate plan, almost certain to fail. But there was an infinitesimal chance that one day Tianming may, somehow, send valuable information back to Earth. And so he does. But not before he succumbed to subjective centuries of alien torture and betrayed humanity.

Rewarded with a cloned body by the Trisolarans, Tianming has spent millennia in exile as a traitor to the human race. But now he has a final chance at redemption. A being calling itself The Spirit recruits him to help wage war against a foe that threatens the existence of the entire universe. But Tianming refuses to be a pawn again. He has his own plans…"              

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Dan Simmons has been a favourite of ours ever since we got our hands on ‘Hyperion’ and over the years we’ve picked up a few decent copies of his work. Horror, SF or thriller settings the scope of his stuff is amazing, so we are really pleased to have got a copy of the Subterranean Press edition of one of Simmons' most celebrated novels.

”It's the summer of 1960 in Elm Haven, Illinois, and five 12-year old boys are forming the bonds that a lifetime of changes will never erase. But then a dark cloud threatens the bright promise of summer vacation: on the last day of school, their classmate Tubby Cooke vanishes. Soon, the group discovers stories of other children who once disappeared from Elm Haven. And there are other strange things happening in town: unexplained holes in the ground, a stranger dressed as a World War I soldier, and a rendering-plant truck that seems to be following the five boys. The friends realize that there is a terrible evil lurking in Elm Haven...and they must be the ones to stop it. 


 With illustrations by David Palumbo, this is a beauty!     

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And the other great new stuff

The Ruthless (Deathless #2):

The Rebel

For years, Vasin Sapphire has been waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Now, as other Deathless families come under constant assault from the monsters that roam the Wild, that time has come.

The Ruthless.

In the floating castle of Rochant Sapphire, loyal subjects await the ceremony to return their rule to his rightful place. But the child raised to give up his body to Lord Rochant is no ordinary servant. Strange ad savage, he will stop at nothing to escape his gilded prison.

and the Returned...

Far below, another child yearns to see the human world. Raised by a creature of the Wild, he knows its secrets better than any other. As he enters into the struggle between the Deathless houses, he may be the key to protecting their power or destroying it completely.

The Wild has begun to rise.

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Carew, Leo - The Spider

After the critically acclaimed epic fantasy 'The Wolf' comes 'The Spider', book two in Leo Carew's 'Under The Northern Sky' Series

A battle has been won, but the war still wages on . . .

Roper, the Black Lord of the northern people, may have vanquished the Suthern army at the Battle of Harstathur. But the greatest threat to his people lies in the hands of more shadowy forces.

In the south, the disgraced Bellamus bides his time. Learning that the young Lord Roper is planning to invade the southern lands, Bellamus conspires with his Queen to unleash a weapon so deadly it could wipe out Roper's people altogether.

And at a time when Roper needs his friends more than ever, treachery from within puts the lives of those he loves in mortal danger…

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Aurora Rising:

"The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm

A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates

A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder

An alien warrior with anger management issues

A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic."

Goldboro signed limited edition hardcover

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27 June

Mid-year and some great new arrivals, in particular the Bradbury edition below, such a classic and a little sip of some dandelion wine which we could use about now. 

In the early1960’s Ray Bradbury published ‘R is for Rocket’, a collection of selected stories intended to appeal to YA readers, and followed four years later with the companion volume ‘S is for Space’. These books were one of the reasons we love SF. PS Publishing have published a combined limited edition (they did a three volume set some time ago, which we wish we’d bought) which is signed by the artists, each story featuring a specially commissioned greyscale illustration from Glenn Chadbourne. ‘R is for Rocket’: Science fiction, fantasy, small town life, and small town people are the materials from which Ray Bradbury weaves his unique and magical stories of the natural and the supernatural, the past, the present, and the future. Seventeen of his most popular science fiction stories, including several that have not appeared before in book form, have been selected by the author for this volume from the best of Bradbury in books and magazines.

‘S is for Space’: Mr. Bradbury has selected twenty-two of his best known stories for this collection, and whether he's writing about space ships, time machines, a picnic on Mars, a human chrysalis, or the people next door, his stories are exciting, challenging, and hauntingly beautiful. A spine-chilling account of inter-planetary invasion, the eerie tale of a dead man who walks from his grave, or of giant mushrooms, the sad story of a boy who never grew up - in Mr. Bradbury's own words, you'll find "not only S is for Space, but D is for Dread and T is for Terrifying, or D is for Delight.”

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We just got our copy of the Cemetary Dance ‘gift edition’ of ‘Sleeping Beauties’. There are a lot of Stephen King books out there, and many tempting editions,  we currently collect the PS Publishing early limited reprints but every now an then an edition comes along that grabs our attention. Cemetary Dance pulled out all the stops with this book, featuring artwork by Jana Heidersdorf, so good that we wish we’d bought the limited signed edition with the moth dust jacket, thankfully there is a fold out illustration in the gift edition.

'In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place... The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain?' 

Obtaining a copy of ‘The Squirrel on the Train’ by Kevin Hearne we backtracked and realised we’d missed the boat on this series when originally offered by Sub Press and had to therefore pay the piper to get in, done deal, but painful. Here’s the blurb for ‘Hounded’...

 'Atticus O’Sullivan has been running for more than two thousand years and he’s tired of it. The Irish gods who want to kill him are after an enchanted sword he stole in a first-century battle, and when they find him managing an occult bookshop in Tempe, Arizona, the last of the ancient Druids doesn’t want to uproot his life again; he just wants everything to end one way or the other, but preferably the way in which he can continue to enjoy fish and chips.

He does have some small hope of survival: The Morrigan is on his side, and so is Brighid, First Among the Fae. His lawyer is literally a bloodsucking vampire, and he has a loyal Irish wolfhound with opinions about poodles.

But Aenghus Óg has recruited Fir Bolgs, a former king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and a coven of witches to help bring down the Druid, and the local police are cooperating as well. On top of all that, Aenghus has a direct line to the firepower of hell. Atticus will need all the luck of the Irish and more if he’s going to stay alive.'

 

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IN FOCUS

The second book of the sequel trilogy to ‘Memory, Sorrow and Thorn’ which was originally published 24 years ago with Michael Whelan artwork. It’s pleasing to see he is the artist  on the sequel all these years later and if anything the covers are better. Obviously the original trilogy is a landmark in the genre.

And the other great new stuff...

The October Man:

We are still frustratingly way behind on getting into the ‘Rivers of London’ series but really enjoyed the first for it’s humour and look forward to eventually reading more, it’s now noted that Simon Pegg has obtained the TV rights and is seeking to begin a series, that’ll be cool. Meanwhile here’s the latest, the limited Subterranean Press edition.

'Trier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany’s oldest city. So when a man is found dead with, his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.

Fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.

Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork. With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he’s quick to link the first victim to a group of ordinary middle aged men – and to realise they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. But the rot is still spreading, literally and with the suspect list extending to people born before Frederick the Great solving the case may mean unearthing the city’s secret magical history.

. . . so long as that history doesn’t kill them first.'

A Brightness Long Ago:

We love Kay’s work, it’s a slow burn, but rich and always original. We’ll just state for the record that ‘The Fionavar Tapestry’ is a must read if fantasy is your genre.

'In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra's intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count--and soon learned why that man was known  as the Beast.

Danio's fate changed the moment he saw and recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count's chambers one autumn night--intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger--and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place.

Vivid figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more,  two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance.’

Berkley First Edition Hardcover

Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky:

The Sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapur, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, surviving on the debris of its long-dead progenitors, Shadrapur is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity.

Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new, is Stefan Advani, rebel, outlaw, prisoner, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in verdant hell of the jungle's darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will treat with monsters, madman, mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?         

Signed First Edition Hardcover

Great artwork by Leo Nickolls

Limited Wish:

One choice. Two possible timelines. And a world hanging in the balance.

It’s the summer of 1986 and reluctant prodigy Nick Hayes is a student at Cambridge University, working with world-renowned mathematician Professor Halligan. He just wants to be a regular student, but regular isn’t really an option for a boy-genius cancer survivor who’s already dabbled in time travel.

When he crosses paths with a mysterious yet curiously familiar girl, Nick discovers that creases have appeared in the fabric of time, and that he is at the centre of the disruption. Only Nick can resolve this time paradox before the damage becomes catastrophic for both him and the future of the world. Time is running out—literally.

Wrapped up with him in this potentially apocalyptic scenario are his ex-girlfriend, Mia, and fellow student Helen. Facing the world-ending chaos of a split in time, Nick must act fast and make the choice of a lifetime—or lifetimes.

Game on.

47North Hardcover First Edition



9 June

The story of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser is among the most enduring in modern fantasy, and Centipede Press is releasing the definitive eight-volume set comprising all of the stories by Fritz Leiber (and his friend Harry Fischer). The deluxe edition of Volume two was rated our most stunning book of 2018, Volume three with the artwork by Grant Griffin continues the trend, we do enjoy seeing each alternate artist’s take on the two rogues.

 Centipede Press also publish reprints of significant works printed in a standard oversize science fiction format, we’ve picked up a few of these along the way and their choice (if obscure) is usually rewarding and the latest is as 'left of field' as they get. We love Robert Silverberg and cannot overstate how much we enjoyed the ‘Majpoor Trilogy’ so when Centipede Press announced the release of Silverberg’s ‘The Book of Skulls’  we bought a copy and read the book. This was not an easy read, we hung in there and must say that the book stayed in mind for long after completion, but it’s not SF in our view. The John Anthony di Giovanni dust jacket artwork totally captures the sense of the scene, harsh.

Seeking the immortality promised in an ancient manuscript, The Book of Skulls, four friends, college roommates, go on a spring break trip to Arizona: Eli, the scholar, who found and translated the book; Timothy, scion of an American dynasty, born and bred to lead; Ned, poet and cynic; and Oliver, the brilliant farm boy obsessed with death.

Somewhere in the desert lies the House of Skulls, where a mystic brotherhood guards the secret of eternal life. There, the four aspirants will present themselves–and a horrific price will be demanded.

For immortality requires sacrifice. Two victims to balance two survivors. One by suicide, one by murder.

Now, beneath the gaze of grinning skulls, the terror begins. . . 


A nice surprise for us this year was the publishing of the limited edition of ‘The Scar’. A surprise as Subterranean had published the limited edition of ‘Period Street Station’ back in 2011 and 'The Scar’ is a direct sequel originally published in 2002.  Fortunately as per ‘Perdido’ Subterranean retained Edward Miller for the dust jacket and full-color interior illustrations, which are stunning, check out the other images on the China Mievelle page.

And if we weren't already over the moon, we received a bulk package that contained amongst others, the last of the ‘Red Rising’ trilogy as published by Subterranean Press and as with most of their recent sets these are now very dear. The trilogy itself is frankly brillant, and its success reflects just that with ‘Red Rising' now in it’s 29th US printing since first being published in 2014. The Tommy Arnold dust jacket art is genius!

   And to wrap up the suite of stunning dust jackets, Ray Troll’s illustration for 'The Dinosaur Tourist', Caitlín R. Kiernan's fifteenth collection of short fiction is a eye-catcher! Kiernan returns with nineteen tales of the unexpected and the uncanny to explore that treacherous gulf between what we suppose the world to be and what might actually be waiting out beyond the edges of our day-to-day experience. 

  

19 May 

Probably one of the most notable events in recent times has been the advent of Chinese culture in SF/fantasy, there’s even a ’silkpunk’ genre. The first time we read a translated Chinese work it blew us away, which shouldn’t have been a surprise, that book being ‘The Three-Body Problem' by Cixin Liu - the first Asian novel ever to win a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015

It turns out that we are witnessing the ‘Golden Age’ of Chinese SF or "kehuan" led by the likes of Cixin Liu, Hao Jingfang, Xia Jia and Chen Quifan who are not only winning a Chinese fan base but a global one. As it stands this April marks the Netflix release of Cixin Liu's, 'The Wandering Earth’, billed as China’s breakout sci-fi blockbuster, and on that note we’re just ecstatic about getting our copy of the Subterranean Press oversized edition of ‘The Three-Body Problem’ :

The story opens in the heat of the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s, where Ye Wenjie, the young daughter of a prominent professor of physics, witnesses her father beaten to death by Red Guard fanatics. The event sears itself not only into her memory but her very psyche, as she channels her anger into a state of emotional numbness and becomes more or less a misanthrope. Years later, her own political loyalties suspect, she is conscripted into working at Red Coast, a secret government radio telecommunications facility that she is initially told exists to detect and disable the satellites of enemy nations. Its real purpose is far more fantastic. And when she discovers a clear and unambiguous message from an extraterrestrial intelligence, she is faced with a fateful decision: can she actually take it upon herself to help cleanse the Earth of a morally irredeemable human race and usher in what she believes will be its redemption via conquest?Dust jacket and full-color interior illustrations by Marc Simonetti.

'It’s far from perfect, but in its best moments is so unlike anything hard SF has thrown at us before that no dedicated reader of the genre should overlook it.’(sfreviews.net)

'The Three-Body Problem' is the opening movement of a trilogy called 'The Remembrance of Earth’s Past’, the second novel 'The Dark Forest’ simply blew us away. 

There is a certain talent in translating a novel and retaining the quintessential emotion of the original text and Ken Liu certainly delivers the goods in 'The Three-Body Problem’ which is probably why he was selected to translate another rising stars debut novel, 'Waste Tide' by Chen Qiufan. Originally published in Chinese in 2013, anglophone readers can finally get a glimpse of a technological world from an author who grew up next to the largest E-waste facility in the world. 

The story takes place in the imaginary ''Silicon Isle''. The Chinese word ''硅屿'' for Silicon Isle shares a similar pronunciation with Guiyu (Chinese: 贵屿) in Mandarin. In the real world, Guiyu is a town in the Shantou prefecture of Guangdong province in China. And it is Shantou where Chen Qiufan was born and grew up before he entered Peking University.

Situated on the South China Sea coast, Guiyu got famous in the global environmentalist community for its reception of E-waste. The town held the record for being the largest E-waste site up to 2013. Though some residents got rich by electronic recycling, pollution became a serious issue in the town. 

'Mimi is a 'waste girl', a member of the lowest caste on Silicon Isle.

Located off China's southeastern coast, Silicon Isle is the global capital for electronic waste recycling, where thousands like Mimi toil day and night, hoping one day they too will enjoy the wealth they’ve created for their employers, the three clans who have ruled the isle for generations.

Luo Jincheng is the head of one of these clans, a role passed down from his father and grandfather before him. As the government enforces tighter restrictions, Luo in turn tightens the reins on the waste workers in his employ. Ruthlessness is his means of survival.

Scott Brandle has come to Silicon Isle representing TerraGreen Recycling, an American corporation that stands to earn ungodly sums if they can reach a deal to modernize the island’s recycling process.

Chen Kaizong, a Chinese American, travels to Silicon Isle as Scott’s interpreter. There, Kaizong is hoping to find his heritage, but finds more questions instead. The home he longs for may not exist.

As these forces collide, a dark futuristic virus is unleashed on the island, and war erupts between the rich and the poor; between Chinese tradition and American ambition; between humanity’s past and its future.'

Signed (author and translator) limited edition hardcover

Dust jacket illustration by Stephen McNally

Although we have not read any of his work, we have Mark Lawrence’s ‘Broken Empire’ in the Grim Oaks limited edition, we therefore snagged a copy of the limited and lined hardcover edition of ‘Road Bothers’, the short story collection from the same world. Getting a second novel (One Word Kill) from him in the same week was just coincidence but looking at the Goodreads reviews for ‘The Hod King’ and finding that the first reviewer is none other that Mark Lawrence certainly made us sit up. 

Find out more about both books and that great DJ art on the Mark Lawrence page.

  We have just got our hands on ‘The Hod King’ , the third instalment in ’The Books of Babel’ and as stated we found Mark Lawrence’s review, he clearly enjoys the series as much as we do and this quote of his totally captures the books for us: 'Reading these books makes me feel as if I'm a really clever intellectual sharing in something magnificent that only a rarefied few could appreciate.’ It’s so true! But never fear, the books are being read by all and sundry, and they’re loving them. We have ordered a set of the Subterranean Press editions which look like they will be gorgeous but in the meantime we have the Orbit limited hard covers (only 300 hardcovers printed!);

'Fearing an uprising, the Sphinx sends Senlin to investigate a plot that has taken hold in the ringdom of Pelphia. Alone in the city, Senlin infiltrates a bloody arena where hods battle for the public's entertainment. But his investigation is quickly derailed by a gruesome crime and an unexpected reunion.

Posing as a noble lady and her handmaid, Voleta and Iren attempt to reach Marya, who is isolated by her fame. While navigating the court, Voleta attracts the unwanted attention of a powerful prince whose pursuit of her threatens their plan.

Edith, now captain of the Sphinx's fierce flagship, joins forces with a fellow wakeman to investigate the disappearance of a beloved friend. She must decide who to trust as her desperate search brings her nearer to the Black Trail where the hods climb in darkness and whisper of the Hod King.

As Senlin and his crew become further dragged in to the conspiracies of the Tower, everything falls to one question: Who is The Hod King?








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.