New Books (May)

NewBooks-20180525

Featuring: Tim Baker, David Baldacci, J.D. Barker, Steve Brusatte, Shaun Bythell, Michael Carroll, Steve Cavanagh, P. Djèlí Clark, John Cleese, Gardner Dozois, Dominic Dulley, Sarah Gailey, Guy Haley, Robert Hilburn, S.L. Huang, Dave Hutchinson, Steven Hyden, Dave Itzkoff, D.B. John, Stephen King, Derek Lambert, Yoon Ha Lee, William Martin, Michael Moreci, Hannu Rajaniemi, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Martha Wells, Drew Williams

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Books on Film: THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick deWitt

One of those novels I’ve had for ages, and yet not managed to read yet… I know many people who loved Patrick deWitt‘s multi-award-winning The Sisters Brothers (especially friends in Canada), so I hope to get to it very soon — ideally, before the movie adaptation comes out.

deWittP-SistersBrothersCAThe Sisters Brothers was directed by Jacques Audiard, who also wrote the screenplay with Thomas Bidegain. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed. It was produced by Annapurna Pictures.

Here’s the novel’s synopsis:

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. Across 1000 miles of Oregon desert his assassins, the notorious Eli and Charlies Sisters, ride — fighting, shooting, and drinking their way to Sacramento. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, the road is long and bloody, and somewhere along the path Eli begins to question what he does for a living — and whom he does it for.

The Sisters Brothers pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable ribald tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life-and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

The Sisters Brothers is published by House of Anansi Press in Canada, Ecco in the US and Granta Books in the UK.

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Excerpt: EXTINCT by R.R. Haywood (47North)

HaywoodRR-E3-ExtinctToday, we have an excerpt from R.R. Haywood‘s Extinct, the third novel in the author’s Extracted series. Published tomorrow by 47North, here’s the synopsis:

The end of the world has been avoided — for now. With Miri and her team of extracted heroes still on the run, Mother, the disgraced former head of the British Secret Service, has other ideas…

While Mother retreats to her bunker to plot her next move, Miri, Ben, Safa and Harry travel far into the future to ensure that they have prevented the apocalypse. But what they find just doesn’t make sense.

London in 2111 is on the brink of annihilation. What’s more, the timelines have been twisted. Folded in on each other. It’s hard to keep track of who is where. Or, more accurately, who is when.

The clock is ticking for them all. With nothing left to lose but life itself, our heroes must stop Mother — or die trying.

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Upcoming: COLD IRON by Miles Cameron (Gollancz)

CameronM-M&M1-ColdIronUKIn August, Gollancz are due to publish Cold Iron. The first novel in Miles Cameron‘s new Masters & Mages fantasy series, it looks really interesting:

Aranthur is a student. He showed a little magical talent, is studying at the local academy, and is nothing particularly special. Others are smarter. Others are more talented. Others are quicker to pick up techniques. But none of them are with him when he breaks his journey home for the holidays in an inn. None of them step in to help when a young woman is thrown off a passing stage coach into the deep snow at the side of the road. And none of them are drawn into a fight to protect her.

One of the others might have realised she was manipulating him all along…

A powerful story about beginnings, coming of age, and the way choosing to take one step towards violence can lead to a slippery and dangerous slope, this is an accomplished fantasy series driven by strong characters and fast-paced action.

Cold Iron is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz, and in North America by Orbit, in October 2018.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “How I Do Research”

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Upcoming: BY THE PRICKING OF HER THUMB by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)

RobertsA-ByThePrickingOfHerThumbUKLater this year, Adam Roberts is returning to the setting of his recent novel The Real-Town Murders! I must admit that it was the cover that first caught my eye, but the synopsis certainly did a lot to increase my interest in the novel. By the Pricking of Her Thumb is due to be published by Gollancz on August 23rd, 2018. Here’s what it’s about:

One of the four richest people in the world may be dead. But which one? A Kubrickian thriller from one of the world’s leading authors of SF.

Private Investigator Alma is caught up in another impossible murder. One of the world’s four richest people may be dead — but nobody is sure which one. Hired to discover the truth behind the increasingly bizarre behaviour of the ultra-rich, Alma must juggle treating her terminally ill lover with a case which may not have a victim.

Inspired by the films of Kubrick, this stand-alone novel returns to the near-future of THE REAL-TOWN MURDERS, and puts Alma on a path to a world she can barely understand. Witty, moving and with a mystery deep at its heart, this novel again shows Adam Roberts’ mastery of the form.

Luckily, I have The Real-Town Murders already, so I should be able to get that read before I get my hands on By the Pricking of Her Thumb. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading them both!

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Review: MURDERBOT DIARIES #1-3 by Martha Wells (Tor.com)

WellsM-MurderbotDiaries-1to3

An amusing, thoughtful series of novellas

These are a lot of fun. In the first three books in Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries — All Systems RedArtificial Condition and Rogue Protocol — we follow the adventures of a SecUnit who has hacked its governor module and, therefore, mostly autonomous. It’s a wonderful guide to this setting, and in each of these books we are given a little more detail on how the universe is set up and runs. All the while, the SecUnit (who does get a couple of personalized names in the books) struggles with its distaste and dislike of humans, and a stubborn urge to protect them. (They’re just so soft and feckless, after all…) Continue reading

Upcoming: SALVATION by Peter F. Hamilton (Tor/Del Rey)

HamiltonPF-S1-SalvationUKThis September, Tor (UK) and Del Rey (US) are due to publish the first novel in Peter F. Hamilton‘s new Salvation Sequence. One of the most acclaimed and successful British sci-fi authors writing today, it sounds like a pretty interesting series.

Here’s the synopsis for Salvation:

Know your enemy – or be defeated

AD 2204

An alien shipwreck is discovered on a planet at the very limits of human expansion – so Security Director Feriton Kayne selects a team to investigate. The ship’s sinister cargo not only raises bewildering questions, but could also foreshadow humanity’s extinction. It will be up to the team to bring back answers, and the consequences of this voyage will change everything.

Back on Earth, we can now make deserts bloom and extend lifespans indefinitely, so humanity seems invulnerable. We therefore welcomed the Olyix to Earth when they contacted us. They needed fuel for their pilgrimage across the galaxy — and in exchange they helped us advance our technology. But were the Olyix a blessing or a curse?

THE FAR FUTURE

Many lightyears from Earth, Dellian and his clan of genetically engineered soldiers are raised with one goal. They must confront and destroy their ancient adversary. The enemy caused mankind to flee across the galaxy and they hunt us still. If they aren’t stopped, we will be wiped out — and we’re running out of time.

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HamiltonPF-S1-SalvationUS