Quick Review: GARRO — WEAPON OF FATE by James Swallow (Black Library)

swallowj-hh-garroThe formation of the Knights Errant, and the start of a new religion…?

From out of the shadows of the Silent War, a hero emerges. Clad all in grey, an errant warrior of the Legiones Astartes kneels before the Regent of Terra, and accepts a solemn new duty – Battle-Captain Garro, once commander of the Eisenstein, now Agentia Primus of Malcador the Sigillite. From the desolation of Isstvan to the halls of the Imperial Palace itself, he stands as a paragon of loyalty and protector of the innocent, ever ready to strike back at the traitorous allies of the Warmaster. But Garro is walking a path of his own, one that may lead him to question his own place in the Imperium… and what if he, too, should falter?

This book collects a number of James Swallow’s Nathaniel Garro stories. (Swallow confirms that there will be more, in his Afterword.) Those stories that were originally released as audio dramas are presented in expanded prose versions, with additional scenes and woven into a chronological, continuous narrative. The book ends with the momentous Vow of Faith, originally published as a limited edition novella. For fans of the Horus Heresy series, this is a must read. Continue reading

An Interview with LILA BOWEN

dawnsonds-authorpicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Lila Bowen?

Lila is the pseudonym (and alter ego) of Delilah S. Dawson. I’ll answer to Delilah or Lila in public, since they’re pretty much the same word. As Delilah, I’m the author of the Blud series, the Hit series, Servants of the Storm, Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon and Scorched, and a variety of short stories and comics, including the upcoming Ladycastle from Boom! Studios. The Shadow series, which begins with Wake of Vultures, is Lila’s first publishing venture. You can find both of us online and chat with us on Twitter. If you’re wanting to know unbookish things, I live in the north Georgia mountains with my family and really love gluten free cake.

Your next novel, Conspiracy of Ravens, was recently published by Orbit. It looks rather interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? And what should fans of Wake of Vultures expect from this sequel?

Thanks! I would definitely send any new readers to Wake of Vultures, which recently came out in paperback, as it introduces the character of Nettie Lonesome and the Weird West world she inhabits. I think of this series as Buffy the Vampire Slayer-meets-Lonesome Dove, although Conspiracy goes a little more Hell on Wheels/Deadwood. Fans of Wake can expect to see the Shadow killing what needs to die and facing her past and future with new clarity as she hunts an alchemist running a diabolical railroad camp using enslaved monsters. Continue reading

Upcoming: AGE OF MYTH by Michael J. Sullivan (Del Rey)

SullivanMJ-LoFE1-AgeOfMythUSI thoroughly enjoyed Michael J. Sullivan‘s Riyria Chronicles novels. I’ve fallen a bit behind on his latest work, unfortunately. Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to Age of Myth, which is the first in a new five-book fantasy series. Here’s the synopsis:

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

Age of Myth is due out on June 28th in the US, published by Del Rey. I’m not sure about any plans for UK publication.

Also on CR: Reviews of Theft of SwordsRise of Empire and Heir of Novron; Interview with Michael J. Sullivan (2011); Guest Posts on “On Gritty vs. Heroic Fantasy” and “History & Riyria”

Quick Review: THE EMPEROR’S RAILROAD by Guy Haley (Tor.com)

HaleyG-EmperorsRailroadAn interesting new post-apocalyptic series

Global war devastated the environment, a zombie-like plague wiped out much of humanity, and civilization as we once understood it came to a standstill. But that was a thousand years ago, and the world is now a very different place.

Conflict between city states is constant, superstition is rife, and machine relics, mutant creatures and resurrected prehistoric beasts trouble the land. Watching over all are the silent Dreaming Cities. Homes of the angels, bastion outposts of heaven on Earth. Or so the church claims. Very few go in, and nobody ever comes out.

Until now…

This is an interesting novella, and one that shows a lot of potential for expansion. (According to the author, it is first in a possible/planned series of stories.) The story is told from the perspective of Abney, one of the travellers to whom the knight on the cover attaches himself. The three are travelling cross-country: the mother and son are trying to reach Winfort, an outpost in which a distant relative lives. Quinn, the knight’s motivation is shrouded in mystery, and pretty much remains so at the end of the novella. This is no bad thing, as it gives us a little hint as to what we should expect from upcoming stories in this setting. Abney recounts their journey, and offers us an introduction to the setting and characters — we don’t get too much, but we start to see their characters take shape, and in the process some tantalizing hints about how the world got to this state.

The biggest surprise for me was that the railroad in the title was… pretty much absent from the story. Not strictly speaking a bad thing, but an odd decision, given the title. The story does, however, have angels, dragons and some excellent tension. It’s a somewhat slow-burn, and is clearly setting things up for future adventures. It’s pretty satisfying, though.

If you enjoy post-apocalyptic stories, then this is a must-read. Very good.

The Emperor’s Railroad is published by Tor.com in April 2016.

Also on CR: Interview with Guy Haley

Upcoming: CENTRAL STATION by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)

Tidhar-CentralStation2Ok, I already have this, and featured it in a Books Received post a couple months back. But, today Tachyon unveiled that superb new cover, above, for Lavie Tidhar’s highly-anticipated new book, Central Station. It’s comprised of a series of novellas/short stories, stitched together to create a larger story. It sounds fantastic and, while the previous cover was also really nice, now it also looks magnificent. Here’s the synopsis:

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik — a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation — a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness — are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive… and even evolve.

Central Station is due out in May 2016. Tachyon have also shared a pair of travel posters for Central Station, which are rather fantastic:

Tidhar-CentralStation-Posters

Upcoming: THE LOST TIME ACCIDENTS by John Wray (Canongate/FSG)

WrayJ-LostTimeAccidents

John Wray‘s next novel, The Lost Time Accidents sounds fascinating:

Every moment that passes is a

Lost Time Accident.

Close your eyes, Children,

when you want

to stop Time…

Haunted by a failed love affair and the darkest of family secrets, Waldemar ‘Waldy’ Tolliver wakes one morning to discover that he has been exiled from the flow of time. The world continues to turn, and Waldy is desperate to find his way back.

In his ambitious and fiercely inventive new novel, John Wray takes us from turn-of-the-century Viennese salons buzzing with rumours about Einstein’s radical new theory to the death camps of the Second World War, from the golden age of post-war pulp science fiction to a startling discovery in a modern-day Manhattan apartment packed to the ceiling with artefacts of contemporary life.

The Lost Time Accidents is a bold and epic saga set against the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century.

Both the UK and US cover have been popping up on my Goodreads and Amazon recommendations. I’m certainly intrigued. The Lost Time Accidents is published in the UK on June 16th, by Canongate (above, left); and on February 9th in the US, by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Wray is also the author of Lowboy (published by Canongate), The Right Hand of Sleep and Canaan’s Tongue (published by Vintage).