Featuring: Joe Abercrombie, Shane Anderson, Carmelo Anthony, RJ Barker, Nicholas Bowling, Michael Carroll, Charles Cumming, Scott Eyman, John Higgins, Richard Kadrey, Anita Kopacz, Devin Madson, William McIlvanney, Premee Mohamed, Scotto Moore, Abir Mukherjee, Ian Rankin, Joe Mungo Reed, James Rollins, John Sandford, Dan Shaughnessy, Defne Suman, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Tade Thompson, Lavie Tidhar, Stevie Van Zandt, Matthew Ward, D. Watkins
Joe Abercrombie, THE WISDOM OF CROWDS (Orbit)
A stunning fantasy novel that finds the world in an unstoppable revolution where heroes have nothing left to lose as darkness and destruction overtake everything.
Chaos. Fury. Destruction.
The Great Change is upon us…
Some say that to change the world you must first burn it down. Now that belief will be tested in the crucible of revolution: the Breakers and Burners have seized the levers of power, the smoke of riots has replaced the smog of industry, and all must submit to the wisdom of crowds.
With nothing left to lose, Citizen Brock is determined to become a new hero for the new age, while Citizeness Savine must turn her talents from profit to survival before she can claw her way to redemption. Orso will find that when the world is turned upside down, no one is lower than a monarch. And in the bloody North, Rikke and her fragile Protectorate are running out of allies… while Black Calder gathers his forces and plots his vengeance.
The banks have fallen, the sun of the Union has been torn down, and in the darkness behind the scenes, the threads of the Weaver’s ruthless plan are slowly being drawn together…
The third book in Abercrombie’s Age of Madness trilogy (also set in the same world as the First Law books). Really looking forward to getting caught up. The Wisdom of Crowds is due to be published by Orbit in North America and Gollancz in the UK, on September 14th.
Shane Anderson, AFTER THE ORACLE (Deep Vellum)
Following the four tenets of the Golden State Warriors (joy, mindfulness, compassion, and competition), an American expat in Berlin uses basketball as a lens through which to discover the meaning of life.
In 2016, Shane Anderson made a vow to live according to the four core values of the Golden State Warriors to escape a decade of defeats — including divorce, debilitating spinal surgery and a suicide attempt. The basketball team’s values of joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition became Anderson’s guiding principles, providing him with a lens to investigate the emptiness of contemporary life, from homelessness to rave culture and the limits of self-help. Part memoir, part essay, and part chronicle of the greatest five-year stretch of a team in NBA history, After the Oracle depicts the makes and misses of one expat trying to make a life worth living.
Thought this sounded interest, if potentially a little weird. Looking forward to giving it a try. After the Oracle is due to be published by Deep Vellum Publishing in North America and in the UK, on December 1st.
Carmelo Anthony w. D. Watkins, WHERE TOMORROWS AREN’T PROMISED (Gallery)
From iconic NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony comes a raw and inspirational memoir about growing up in the housing projects of Red Hook and Baltimore…
For a long time, Carmelo Anthony’s world wasn’t any larger than the view of the hoopers and hustlers he watched from the side window of his family’s first-floor project apartment in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He couldn’t dream any bigger than emulating his older brothers and cousin, much less going on to become a basketball champion on the world stage.
He faced palpable dangers growing up in the housing projects in Red Hook and West Baltimore’s Murphy Homes (a.k.a. Murder Homes, subject of HBO’s The Wire). He navigated an education system that ignored, exploited, or ostracized him. He suffered the untimely deaths of his closely held loved ones. He struggled to survive physically and emotionally. But with the strength of family and the guidance of key mentors on the streets and on the court, he pushed past lethal odds to endure and thrive.
By the time Carmelo found himself at the NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden in 2003 preparing to embark on his legendary career, he wondered: How did a kid who’d had so many hopes, dreams, and expectations beaten out of him by a world of violence, poverty, and racism make it here at all?
Carmelo’s story is one of perseverance and determination; of dribbling past players bigger and tougher than him, while also weaving around vial caps and needles strewn across the court; where dealers and junkies lined one side of the asphalt and kids playing jacks and Double Dutch lined the other; where rims had no nets, and you better not call a foul — a place Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised.
Carmelo Anthony is one of those players who keeps popping up in many of the books I’ve been reading about the NBA and its stars. I saw him play against the Raptors when he was on the Blazers, in January 2020 — a game in which he caught fire and snatched victory from Toronto to give the Portland a 101-99 victory. Little did we know at the time, but that would be the last NBA game we saw live before the pandemic arrived. (We also had tickets for the Raptors’ game vs. the Nuggets in March, but of course that was cancelled. They’ll be back in Toronto, soon, I hope.) Anyway, read this very soon after I got it — check out my review, here. Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised is due to be published by Gallery Books in North America and in the UK, on September 14th.
RJ Barker, THE BONE SHIP’S WAKE (Orbit)
Joron Twiner’s dreams of freedom lay shattered. His Shipwife is gone and all he has left is revenge. Leading the black fleet from the deck of Tide Child, he takes every opportunity to hurt the Hundred Isles he is given. But his time is limited.
His fleet is shrinking, the Keyshan’s Rot is running through his body, and he hiding from a prophecy that says he and the avian sorcerer, the Windseer will end the entire world.
But the Sea Dragons have returned, a miracle in itself, and who is to say that if you can have one miracle, there cannot be another?
The third novel in Barker’s second fantasy trilogy, The Tide Child. Have somehow managed to leave this series unread for too long. Hope to get to it very soon. The Bone Ship’s Wake is due to be published by Orbit Books in North America and in the UK, on September 28th.
Nicholas Bowling, THE FOLLOWER (Titan)
When her twin brother goes missing in Northern California, Vivian Owens follows his trail to the town of Mount Hookey, home to the followers of Telos: a mountain-worshipping cult that offers spiritual fulfilment to those who seek it.
While trying to navigate the town’s bizarre inhabitants and the seductive preaching of the initiates of Telos, Vivian will have to confront questions about herself, her family, and everything she thinks she knows about the world. She quickly realises that her search is about far more than her missing brother – it is a quest for the secret of happiness itself.
To that end, there is only one question she needs to answer: what is really at the top of Mount Hookey?
This is the latest novel from the author of Alpha Omega. It’s been pitched as “Twin Peaks meets Welcome to the Nightvale“, which is certainly intriguing. The Follower is due to be published by Titan Books in North America and in the UK, on July 20th.
Also on CR: Interview with Nicholas Bowling (2020)
Michael Carroll & John Higgins, DREADNOUGHTS: BREAKING GROUND (2000 AD)
The year is 2035 and American society is crumbling, the police force become judge and jury, dispensing justice on the streets. Police brutality in response to public protests sparks even greater restrictions on what American citizens are free to do. This is the horror story of a descent into fascism and the beginnings of the world of Judge Dredd.
This graphic novel chronicles the genesis of the Judges and the world of Judge Dredd. I used to be a subscriber to 2000AD, way back in the day, and have remained a fan of various 2000AD properties. I was drawn to the idea of seeing what happened in the “early days” of the Dredd universe, and I was not disappointed. (There is also a series of novellas set in the early-Judge days/years, published by Rebellion.) The book also includes a second story, which was also good but not as compelling or interesting as the main. Definitely recommended for anyone who’s interested in or already a fan of the Judge Dredd setting. Dreadnoughts: Breaking Ground is due to be published by 2000AD on November 9th, in North America and in the UK.
Charles Cumming, JUDAS 62 (Harper Collins)
A spy in one of the most dangerous places on Earth…
1993: Student Lachlan Kite is sent to post-Soviet Russia in the guise of a language teacher. In reality, he is there as a spy. Top secret intelligence agency BOX 88 has ordered Kite to extract a chemical weapons scientist before his groundbreaking research falls into the wrong hands. But Kite’s mission soon goes wrong and he is left stranded in a hostile city with a former KGB officer on his trail.
An old enemy looking for revenge…
2020: Now the director of BOX 88 operations in the UK, Kite discovers he has been placed on the ‘JUDAS’ list – a record of enemies of Russia who have been targeted for assassination. Kite’s fight for survival takes him to Dubai, where he must confront the Russian secret state head on…
Who will come out on top in this deadly game of cat and mouse?
This is the second novel in Cumming’s Box 88 series, and one of my most-anticipated novels of the year. (To be fair, any new novel by Cumming will be a most-anticipated of the year. He’s one of my favourites.) I’ll be reading this very soon. JUDAS 62 is due to be published by Harper Collins in the UK, on September 30th.
Scott Eyman, 20th CENTURY FOX (Running Press)
This is the story one of the most influential studios in film history, from its glory days under the leadership of legendary movie mogul Darryl F. Zanuck up to its 2019 buyout by Disney.
March 20, 2019 marked the end of an era — Disney took ownership of the movie empire that was Fox. For almost a century before that historic date, Twentieth Century-Fox was one of the preeminent producers of films, stars, and filmmakers. Its unique identity in the industry and place in movie history is unparalleled — and one of the greatest stories to come out of Hollywood. One man, a legendary producer named Darryl F. Zanuck, is the heart of the story. This narrative tells the complete tale of Zanuck and the films, stars, intrigue, and innovations of the iconic studio that was.
Thought this sounded interesting, and the publisher was kind enough to approve my request (I also have Eyman’s recent biography of Cary Grant to read). 20th Century Fox is due to be published by Running Press in North America and in the UK, on September 21st.
Richard Kadrey, KING BULLET (Voyager)
The incredible finale of the page-turning, high-octane Sandman Slim series filled with an explosive ending and intense kick-ass action…
It’s been three months since Stark stopped a death cult and a potential ghost apocalypse, and he’s at loose ends. His personal life is a mess. His professional life isn’t much better. And the world… well, the world is going to shit. L.A. is gripped by a viral epidemic that has everyone wearing masks and keeping their distance from each other. But what’s even more frightening is the Shoggot gang and their leader, King Bullet, who revels in the city’s collapse.
Who is King Bullet? No one knows. He seemingly came from nowhere with nothing but a taste for mayhem and an army of crazed killers who follow his every command. What king wants seems simple on it face: Chaos. Destruction. A city in flames. But there’s more to the king and his plans for L.A. and what Stark discovers will change Heaven, Earth, and Stark himself forever.
The highly-anticipated final novel in Kadrey’s superb Sandman Slim series! I’ve fallen a bit behind on this series (to my shame), but I’ve got them all and am really eager to get caught up. Maybe that should be my summer biblio-goal? King Bullet is due to be published by Voyager in North America and in the UK, on August 19th.
Anita Kopacz, SHALLOW WATERS (Atria)
The Yoruba deity of the sea, Yemaya, is brought to vivid life as she discovers the power of Black resilience, love, and feminine strength in antebellum America.
Shallow Waters imagines Yemaya, an Orïsha — a deity in the religion of Africa’s Yoruba people — cast into mid-1800s America. We meet Yemaya as a young woman, still in the care of her mother and not yet fully aware of the spectacular power she possesses to protect herself and those she holds dear.
The journey laid out in Shallow Waters sees Yemaya confront the greatest evils of this era; transcend time and place in search of Obatala, a man who sacrifices his own freedom for the chance at hers; and grow into the powerful woman she was destined to become. We travel alongside Yemaya from her native Africa and on to the “New World,” with vivid pictures of life for those left on the outskirts of power in the nascent Americas.
Yemaya realizes the fighter within, travels the Underground Railroad in search of the mysterious stranger Obatala, and crosses paths with icons of our history on the road to freedom.
I hadn’t heard of Kopacz’s upcoming debut novel before the publisher invited me to give it a try. It certainly sounds interesting, and quite different from much of what I’ve been reading lately. Looking forward to giving it a try. Shallow Waters is due to be published by Atria/Black Privilege Publishing in North America and in the UK, on August 3rd.
Follow the Author: Goodreads
Review copy received via Edelweiss
Devin Madson, WE CRY FOR BLOOD (Orbit)
In this bloody epic fantasy, the empire has fallen… but as alliances fracture and hope begins to wane, another powerful empire threatens to rise from the ashes of the old world.
Ambition and schemes have left the Kisian Empire in ashes. Empress Miko Ts’ai will have to move fast if she hopes to secure a foothold in its ruins. However, the line between enemies and allies may not be as clear-cut as it first appeared.
After failing to win back his Swords, former Captain Rah e’Torin finds shelter among the Levanti deserters. But his presence in the camp threatens to fracture the group, putting him on a collision course with their enigmatic leader.
Assassin Cassandra Marius knows Leo Villius’s secret — one that could thwart his ambitions to conquer Kisia. But her time in Empress Hana’s body is running out and each attempt they make to exploit Leo’s weakness may be playing into his plans.
And, as Leo’s control over the Levanti emperor grows, Dishiva e’Jaroven is caught in his web. To successfully challenge him, she’ll have to decide how many of her people are worth sacrificing in order to win.
This is the third and final novel in Madson’s Reborn Empire series. Really looking forward to seeing how it all comes to an end. We Cry for Blood is due to be published by Orbit Books in North America and in the UK, on August 3rd.
Also on CR: Interview with Devin Madson (2020)
William McIlvanney & Ian Rankin, THE DARK REMAINS (Europa)
Lawyer Bobby Carter did a lot of work for the wrong kind of people. When his body is found in an alley behind a pub that is known to be under the protective wing of a local crime boss, the fragile equilibrium that has been keeping Glasgow relatively safe for months is shattered. Besides a distraught family and any number of powerful friends, Carter has left behind his fair share of enemies. So who is responsible for his death?
DC Jack Laidlaw’s reputation precedes him. He’s not a team player, but he’s got a sixth sense for what’s happening on the streets. His boss chalks Carter’s death up to the usual rivalries, but Laidlaw knows it can’t be that simple. As two Glasgow gangs go to war, he needs to find Carter’s killer before the whole city explodes.
William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw books changed the face of crime fiction. When he died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case. Ian Rankin has finished what McIlvanney started. Here, in The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and Laidlaw’s relentless quest for truth.
There was quite the splash, when this was announced. I haven’t had a chance to read any of McIlvanney’s Laidlaw series, but given that this is a prequel, I think that oversight will be addressed extremely soon. The Dark Remains is due to be published by World Noir/Europa in North America (September 7th) and Canongate in the UK (September 2nd).
Premee Mohamed, THE ANNUAL MIGRATION OF CLOUDS (ECW Press)
A novella set in post–climate disaster Alberta; a woman infected with a mysterious parasite must choose whether to pursue a rare opportunity far from home or stay and help rebuild her community
The world is nothing like it once was: climate disasters have wracked the continent, causing food shortages, ending industry, and leaving little behind. Then came Cad, mysterious mind-altering fungi that invade the bodies of the now scattered citizenry. Reid, a young woman who carries this parasite, has been given a chance to get away — to move to one of the last remnants of pre-disaster society — but she can’t bring herself to abandon her mother and the community that relies on her. When she’s offered a coveted place on a dangerous and profitable mission, she jumps at the opportunity to set her family up for life, but how can Reid ask people to put their trust in her when she can’t even trust her own mind?
With keen insight and biting prose, Premee Mohamed delivers a deeply personal tale in this post-apocalyptic hopepunk novella that reflects on the meaning of community and asks what we owe to those who have lifted us up.
A new novella from Premee Mohamed, author of the Beneath the Rising series (among others). Thought it sounded really interesting. Very much looking forward to reading it. The Annual Migration of Clouds is due to be published by ECW Press on September 28th.
Scotto Moore, BATTLE OF THE LINGUIST MAGES (Tor.com)
In modern day Los Angeles, a shadowy faction led by the Governor of California develops the arcane art of combat linguistics, planting the seeds of a future totalitarian empire…
Isobel is the Queen of the medieval rave-themed VR game Sparkle Dungeon. Her prowess in the game makes her an ideal candidate to learn the secrets of “power morphemes” — unnaturally dense units of meaning that warp perception when skilfully pronounced.
But Isobel’s reputation makes her the target of a strange resistance movement led by spellcasting anarchists, who may be the only thing stopping the cabal from toppling California over the edge of a terrible transformation, with forty million lives at stake.
Time is short for Isobel to level up and choose a side — because the cabal has attracted much bigger and weirder enemies than the anarchist resistance, emerging from dark and vicious dimensions of reality and heading straight for planet Earth!
I rather enjoyed Moore’s previous novella for Tor.com, Your Favourite Band Cannot Save You, so I was rather looking forward to reading what he came up with next. This new book sounds equally fun. I’ll be reading it very soon. Battle of the Linguist Mages is due to be published by Tor.com in North America and in the UK, on January 11th.
Abir Mukherjee, THE SHADOWS OF MEN (Pegasus)
When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can the officers of the Imperial Police Force — Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant “Surrender-Not” Banerjee — track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath?
Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this remarkable series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?
I’ve only recently started reading Abir Mukherjee’s Wyndham & Banerjee novels (I finished the first book, A Rising Man in early August). I’m definitely a convert, though, and I hope to get caught up ASAP. The Shadows of Men is due to be published by Pegasus in North America and Harvill Secker in the UK, on November 11th.
Joe Mungo Reed, HAMMER (Simon & Schuster)
An art auction house employee helps a Russian oligarch sell his prized collection, ensnaring himself in a dangerous romance and an even more treacherous political plot.
It’s 2013, and much of the world still reels from the global economic collapse. Yet in the auction rooms of London, artworks are selling for record-breaking prices. Seeking a place in this gilded world is Martin, a junior specialist at a prestigious auction house. Martin spends his days catering to the whims of obscenely wealthy clients and his nights drinking in grubby pubs with his demoralized roommate. However, a chance meeting with Marina, an old university friend, presents Martin with a chance to change everything.
Pursuing distraction from her failing marriage and from a career she doesn’t quite believe in, Marina draws Martin into her circle and that of her husband, Oleg, an art-collecting oligarch. Shaken by the death of his mother and chafing against his diminishing influence in his homeland, Oleg appears primed to change his own life — and perhaps to relinquish his priceless art collection long coveted by London’s auction houses. Martin is determined to secure the sale and transform his career. But his ambitions are threatened by factors he hasn’t reckoned with: a dangerous attraction between himself and Marina, and half-baked political plans through which Oleg aims to redeem himself and Russia but which instead imperil the safety of the oligarch and all those around him.
Hammer is a riveting, ambitious novel — at once a sharp art world exposé, a tense geopolitical thriller, and a brooding romance — that incisively explores the intersection of wealth, power, and desire.
This is the second novel from the author of We Begin Our Ascent. I’ve always been fascinated by the art world, and the combination of a geopolitical thriller and more human story? Sign me up. I’ll be reading this soon (but will probably hold off for a bit on the review). Hammer is due to be published by Simon & Schuster in North America and in the UK, on March 22nd, 2022.
James Rollins, THE STARLESS CROWN (Tor Books)
An alliance embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the secrets of the distant past and save their world…
A gifted student foretells an apocalypse. Her reward is a sentence of death.
Fleeing into the unknown she is drawn into a team of outcasts:
A broken soldier, who once again takes up the weapons he’s forbidden to wield and carves a trail back home.
A drunken prince, who steps out from his beloved brother’s shadow and claims a purpose of his own.
An imprisoned thief, who escapes the crushing dark and discovers a gleaming artifact — one that will ignite a power struggle across the globe.
On the run, hunted by enemies old and new, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive in a world evolved in strange, beautiful, and deadly ways, and uncover ancient secrets that hold the key to their salvation.
But with each passing moment, doom draws closer.
Who will claim the Starless Crown?
The first book in Rollins’s new fantasy series. Best known for his Sigma Force action thrillers, this is not the author’s first fantasy series: he wrote his first two under the pseudonym, “James Clemens”: the Godslayer and the Banned and Banished series. Really looking forward to reading this. The Starless Crown is due to be published by Tor Books in North America and in the UK, on January 4th, 2022.
John Sandford, THE INVESTIGATOR (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Letty Davenport, the brilliant and tenacious adopted daughter of Lucas Davenport, takes the investigative reins…
By age twenty-four, Letty Davenport has seen more action and uncovered more secrets than many law enforcement professionals. Now a recent Stanford grad with a master’s in economics, she’s restless and bored in a desk job for U.S. Senator Colles. Letty’s ready to quit, but her skills have impressed Colles, and he offers her a carrot: feet-on-the-ground investigative work, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security.
Several oil companies in Texas have reported thefts of crude, Colles tells her. He isn’t so much concerned with the oil as he is with the money: who is selling the oil, and what are they doing with the profits? Rumor has it that a fairly ugly militia group — led by a woman known only as Lorelai — might be involved. Colles wants to know if the money is going to them, and if so, what they’re planning.
Letty is partnered with a DHS investigator, John Kaiser, and they head to Texas. When the case quicky turns deadly, they know they’re on the track of something bigger. Lorelai and her group have set in motion an explosive plan… and the clock is ticking down.
This latest novel from Sandford has Letty Davenport at its centre. Up until now, she’s been a side-character in the author’s Lucas Davenport/Prey series, so it’ll be really interesting to see how she fares as a primary protagonist. I have high hopes, and I also think this might suggest the direction the author is going to be taking the series (given that Lucas is getting on in years, now). The Investigator is due to be published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in North America, on April 12th, 2022. There wasn’t any UK publication information at the time of writing, but Sandford’s other novels have been published there by Simon & Schuster, so I assume we’ll hear something soon.
Dan Shaughnessy, WISH IT LASTED FOREVER (Scribner)
A nostalgia-filled retelling of the Boston Celtics’ 1980s dominance, which featured the sublime play of NBA legend Larry Bird.
Today the NBA is a vast global franchise — a billion-dollar industry viewed by millions of fans in the United States and abroad. But it wasn’t always this successful. Before primetime ESPN coverage, lucrative branding deals like Air Jordans, and $40 million annual player salaries, there was the NBA of the 1970s and 1980s — when basketball was still an up-and-coming sport featuring old school beat reporters and players wore Converse All-Stars.
Enter Dan Shaughnessy, then the beat reporter for The Boston Globe who covered the Boston Celtics every day from 1982 to1986. It was a time when reporters travelled with professional teams — flying the same commercial airlines, riding the same buses, and staying in the same hotels. Shaughnessy knew the athletes as real people, losing free throw bets to Larry Bird, being gifted cheap cigars by the iconic coach Red Auerbach, and having his one-year-old daughter Sarah passed from player to player on a flight from Logan to Detroit Metro.
Drawing on unprecedented access and personal experiences that would not be possible for any reporter today, Shaughnessy takes us inside the legendary Larry Bird-led Celtics teams, capturing the camaraderie as they rose to dominate the NBA. Fans can witness the cockiness of Larry Bird (who once walked into an All Star Weekend locker room, announced that he was going to win the three-point contest, and did); the ageless athleticism of Robert Parish; the shooting skills of Kevin McHale; the fierce, self-sacrificing play of Bill Walton; and the playful humor of players like Danny Ainge, Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell, and M.L. Carr.
For any fan who longs to return — for just a few hours — to those magical years when the Boston Garden rocked, the LA Lakers were the perennial mountain to be climbed, and the winner’s circle was mostly colored Boston Green, Wish It Lasted Forever is a VIP courtside seat and masterful tribute to the Larry Bird era and the Celtics’ age of dominance.
Took a bit of a punt on this one: as I’ve mentioned frequently, I didn’t have access to any NBA games until I came to Canada. The fact that this book is pitched as for “any fan who longs to return” makes me a little wary, but I’m interested in learning more about this storied period in the Celtics’ history. Looking forward to reading it soon. Wish it Lasted Forever is due to be published by Scribner in North America and in the UK, on November 16th.
Defne Suman, THE SILENCE OF SCHEHERAZADE (Head of Zeus)
At the heart of the Ottoman Empire, in the ancient city of Smyrna, a devastating moment determines the fates of four families.
On an orange-tinted evening in September 1905, Scheherazade is born to an opium-dazed mother in the ancient city of Smyrna. At the very same moment, a dashing Indian spy arrives in the harbour with a secret mission from the British Empire. He sails in to golden-hued spires and minarets, scents of fig and sycamore, and the cries of street hawkers selling their wares. When he leaves, seventeen years later, it will be to the heavy smell of kerosene and smoke as the city, and its people, are engulfed in flames.
But let us not rush, for much will happen between then and now. Birth, death, romance and grief are all to come as these peaceful, cosmopolitan streets are used as bargaining chips in the wake of the First World War.
Told through the intertwining fates of a Levantine, a Greek, a Turkish and an Armenian family, this unforgettable novel reveals a city, and a culture, now lost to time.
I hadn’t heard about this novel before the publicist got in touch. I sounds pretty interesting, though, so I’m looking forward to giving this a try very soon. The Silence of Scheherazade is due to be published by Head of Zeus in North America on September 19th, and is out now in the UK.
Adrian Tchaikovsky, ELDER RACE (Tor.com)
A junior anthropologist on a distant planet must help the locals he has sworn to study to save a planet from an unbeatable foe.
Lynesse is the lowly Fourth Daughter of the queen, and always getting in the way.
But a demon is terrorizing the land, and now she’s an adult (albeit barely) with responsibilities (she tells herself). Although she still gets in the way, she understands that the only way to save her people is to invoke the pact between her family and the Elder sorcerer who has inhabited the local tower for as long as her people have lived here (though none in living memory has approached it).
But Elder Nyr isn’t a sorcerer, and he is forbidden to help, and his knowledge of science tells him the threat cannot possibly be a demon…
I know it’s rather repetitive for me to write this, but any new book by Adrian Tchaikovsky is something to cheer. Easily one of my favourite authors, I read it very soon after getting it, and should have the review up soon. Elder Race is due to be published by Tor.com in North America and in the UK, on November 16th.
Also on CR: Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012); Guest Posts on “Nine Books, Six Years, One Stenwold Maker”, “The Art of Gunsmithing — Writing Guns of the Dawn“, “Looking for God in Melnibone Places: Fantasy and Religion”, and “Eye of the Spider”; Excerpt from Guns of the Dawn; Reviews of Empire of Black & Gold, Guns of the Dawn, Children of Ruin, Spiderlight, Ironclads, Made Things, and One Day All This Will Be Yours
Tade Thompson, FAR FROM THE LIGHT OF HEAVEN (Orbit)
This tense and thrilling novel is an unforgettable vision of humanity’s future in the chilling emptiness of space…
The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having traveled light-years from home to bring thousands of sleeping souls to safety among the stars.
Some of the sleepers, however, will never wake. As a profound and sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, its skeleton crew makes decisions that will have repercussions for all of humanity’s settlements — from the scheming politics on Lagos station to the colony planet of Bloodroot, to other far-flung systems, and indeed Earth itself.
A new stand-alone sci-fi novel from the author of the acclaimed Wormwood Trilogy and the Molly Southbourne novellas. Far From the Light of Heaven is due to be published by Orbit Books in North America and in the UK, on October 26th.
Lavie Tidhar, THE HOOD (Head of Zeus)
God bless you, England, on this glorious Year of Our Lord, 1145.
Don’t cross the Templars. Everybody knows that. But Will Scarlett, back from the crusades, hopped up on khat and cider, did. Stabbed thrice in the belly but somehow still alive, he’s heading home to Nottingham.
And things are not right in Nottingham.
It’s the wood, you see. Sherwood. Ice-age ancient, impenetrable, hiding a dark and secret heart. As the ancient sages say, If you go into the woods today, you may not come out tomorrow, and the person who comes out may not be you…
The Hood is Lavie Tidhar’s narcotic remix of an ancient English myth, a tale knotted from legends lost to time, shredded and restitched for each passing century. A tale for today.
This is the second novel in Tidhar’s Anti-Matter of Britain Quartet — following By Force Alone. I believe they’re stand-alone, and the quartet is more thematic (“a viscerally entertaining, ominously subversive and poetically profane remixing of the myths and legends that shaped our nation”). I’ve enjoyed everything of Tidhar’s that I’ve read, so I’m very much looking forward to diving into this one. The Hood is due to be published by Head of Zeus in North America and in the UK, on October 14th, 2021.
Stevie Van Zandt, UNREQUITED INFATUATIONS (Hachette)
Uncover never-before-told stories in this epic tale of self-discovery by a Rock n Roll disciple and member of the E Street Band.
What story begins in a bedroom in suburban New Jersey in the early ’60s, unfolds on some of the country’s largest stages, and then ranges across the globe, demonstrating over and over again how Rock and Roll has the power to change the world for the better? This story.
The first true heartbeat of Unrequited Infatuations is the moment when Stevie Van Zandt trades in his devotion to the Baptist religion for an obsession with Rock and Roll. Groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones created new ideas of community, creative risk, and principled rebellion. They changed him forever. While still a teenager, he met Bruce Springsteen, a like-minded outcast/true believer who became one of his most important friends and bandmates. As Miami Steve, Van Zandt anchored the E Street Band as they conquered the Rock and Roll world.
And then, in the early ’80s, Van Zandt stepped away from E Street to embark on his own odyssey. He refashioned himself as Little Steven, a political songwriter and performer, fell in love with Maureen Santoro who greatly expanded his artistic palette, and visited the world’s hot spots as an artist/journalist to not just better understand them, but to help change them. Most famously, he masterminded the recording of “Sun City,” an anti-apartheid anthem that sped the demise of South Africa’s institutionalized racism and helped get Nelson Mandela out of prison.
By the ’90s, Van Zandt had lived at least two lives — one as a mainstream rocker, one as a hardcore activist. It was time for a third. David Chase invited Van Zandt to be a part of his new television show, the Sopranos — as Silvio Dante, he was the unconditionally loyal consiglieri who sat at the right hand of Tony Soprano (a relationship that oddly mirrored his real-life relationship with Bruce Springsteen).
Underlying all of Van Zandt’s various incarnations was a devotion to preserving the centrality of the arts, especially the endangered species of Rock. In the twenty-first century, Van Zandt founded a groundbreaking radio show (Little Steven’s Underground Garage), created the first two 24/7 branded music channels on SiriusXM (Underground Garage and Outlaw Country), started a fiercely independent record label (Wicked Cool), and developed a curriculum to teach students of all ages through the medium of music history. He also rejoined the E Street Band for what has now been a twenty-year victory lap.
Unrequited Infatuations chronicles the twists and turns of Stevie Van Zandt’s always surprising life. It is more than just the testimony of a globe-trotting nomad, more than the story of a groundbreaking activist, more than the odyssey of a spiritual seeker, and more than a master class in rock and roll (not to mention a dozen other crafts). It’s the best book of its kind because it’s the only book of its kind.
The first album I ever loved was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. Years later, I watched Sopranos as it aired. It’s kind of awesome that Van Zandt has managed to straddle these two world, and I’m looking forward to reading his memoir ASAP. Unrequited Infatuations is due to be published by Hachette Books in North America and White Rabbit in the UK, on September 28th.
Matthew Ward, LEGACY OF LIGHT (Orbit)
For the first time in many years, the Tressian Republic and the Hadari Empire are at peace. But darkness never sleeps.
In Tregard, Empress Melanna Saranal struggles to protect a throne won at great cost.
In Tressia, Lord Protector Viktor Droshna seeks to restore all he’s lost through forbidden means.
Also on CR: Interview with Matthew Ward (2020)