New Books (June-July)

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Featuring: Robert Jackson Bennett, Robert Bickers, Mirah Bolender, Terry Brooks, Mason Cross, Charles Cumming, Jaine Fenn, Jonathan French, Matt Goldman, Sean Grigsby, Tessa Hadley, Charlaine Harris, David S. Heidler, Jeanne T. Heidler, Darius Hinks, Ellie Kemper, Caroline Kepnes, A.M. Khalifa, Rebecca Makkai, Nicolás Obregón, Dan Pfeiffer, Bryan Reardon, Josh Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Anthony Ryan, Alex Thomson, Lavie Tidhar, Jack Whyte, Chris Wraight, Snowden Wright

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New Books (June 2017)

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Quite some time since I last posted about new books I’ve received, so this is something of a bumper selection. Hope you find something that piques your interest.

Featuring: Brad Abraham, Guy Adams, Alan Alda, Sam Bourne, James Bradley, Adam Brookes, Terry Brooks, Melissa Caruso, Michael Connelly, Joseph Finder, Jack Ford, Jeffrey Ford, Dana Fredsti, John French, David Burr Gerrard, Lee Matthew Goldberg, Allegra Goodman, A.J. Hartley, Grady Hendrix, Jon Hollins, Joseph Kanon, Ann Leckie, Fonda Lee, Edan Lepucki, Attica Locke, Gail Z. Martin, Emma Newman, Jeff Noon, Lauren Oliver, Melissa F. Olson, Kathy Reichs, Anne Rice, Anthony Ryan, Brian Thomas Schmidt (ed.), Anna Smith Spark, Ferrett Steinmetz, Neal Stephenson, Jonathan Strahan (ed.), David Walton, Angus Watson, Aliya Whiteley, Don Winslow, Kenneth Womack

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Guest Post: “Inspiration for Fantasy Authors” by Anthony Ryan

RyanA-AuthorPicWhilst I don’t like to stereotype, I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this then there’s a fair chance you’re familiar with the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. In one of the earlier episodes Penny asks Leonard “What did you do today?”, to which he responds, “Well, I’m a physicist, so I, y’know… thought about stuff.” Although I wouldn’t want to imply that the complexities of writing fiction are of a similar order to particle physics, writers, like physicists, do spend a considerable amount time thinking about stuff. When it comes to inspiration thinking time is crucial. When I count all the stories I actually wrote, compared to those I thought about writing, I come up with a ratio of approximately one in ten, i.e. only about 10% of my ideas actually turn into stories and then only after a lengthy period percolating in the confused teapot of my imagination. Continue reading

New Books (May-June)

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Featuring: Ramona Ausubel, Stephen Baxter, Peter S. Beagle, Matthew Blakstad, Marie Brennan, Gail Carriger, Joe Carter, Wesley Chu, Richard Cohen, Catherine Coulter, Justin Cronin, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, Mark de Jager, Cindy Dees, Matthew Dunn, Brian Evenson, Bill Flippin, Frederick Forsyth, Tod Goldberg, Michael Hjorth, Jon Hollins, Emmi Itäranta, Cassandra Khaw, Jay Kristoff, Travis Langley, Alex Marshall, Hollie Overton, Terry Pratchett, Tim Pratt, Hans Rosenfeldt, Anthony Ryan, Jamie Sawyer, Adam Sisman, Martin Cruz Smith, Cass R. Sunstein, Michael Swanwick, K.B. Wagers, Ren Warom, Chris Whitaker, Walter Jon Williams

Above artwork: Witchfinder: City of the Dead #1 (crop), by Julian Totino Tedesco (Dark Horse Comics)

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Upcoming: THE WAKING FIRE by Anthony Ryan (Orbit)

RyanA-TheWakingFireAbove is the cover for Anthony Ryan’s next novel, the first in a new epic fantasy series — Draconis Memoria (that’s a very fantasy/heavy metal series title…). I quite like it — there’s a similarity to the recently-unveiled cover for Tom Lloyd’s next novel, but only in general positioning of Big Beastie and Puny Human…

I still haven’t read Anthony Ryan’s debut fantasy trilogy, The Raven’s Shadow, for some reason. Maybe I should get on that? Anyway, here’s the synopsis for The Waking Fire:

For decades the lands of the Ironship Syndicate have been defended by the ‘blood blessed’ – men and women able to channel the powers contained in the potent blood of wild drakes. Elite spies and assassins, their loyalty has established the Syndicate’s position as the greatest power in the known world.

Yet now a crisis looms. The drake bloodlines are weakening, and war with the Corvantine Empire seems inevitable. The Syndicate’s only hope of survival lies with the myth of a legendary drake, whose powerful blood might just turn the tide of the war – if it even exists.

The task of hunting down this fabled creature falls to Claydon Torcreek, a petty thief and unregistered blood blessed. He’s handled many valuable things in his time (most of them illegal) but nothing as priceless as his nation’s future.

The Waking Fire is due to be published by Orbit Books in July 2016.

New Books (February #2)

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Featuring: Nick Aires, Jesse Armstrong, David Baldacci, Adam Christopher, Sebastien de Castell, David Downing, Mark Andrew Ferguson, Matthew Glass, Daryl Gregory, Austin Grossman, Randy Henderson, Antonia Honeywell, Kameron Hurley, Ben Kane, Dennis Lehane, Evie Manieri, D.J. Molles, Benjamin Percy, Tamora Pierce, Christopher Reich, Loren Rhoads, Anthony Ryan, V.E. Schwab, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Simon K. Unsworth, Jen Williams, Jonathan Wood Continue reading

Upcoming: “Tower Lord” by Anthony Ryan (Orbit)

RyanA-RS2-TowerLordAnthony Ryan’s Blood Song was published to much fanfare in the middle of last year. For some reason I didn’t actually get around to reading it. I think this was a combination of everyone else talking/writing about it, and because I can be difficult, this made me want to delay reading it. Also, I think I got it during a protracted SFF reading funk that I was going through at the time.

Anyway, with the second novel in the series now announced (not to mention that it’s due to be published rather soon), I really will have to get caught up in time for Tower Lord. Here’s the synopsis [caution – spoilers for book one]…

THE REALM BURNS.

Vaelin Al Sorna is tired of war. He’s fought countless battles in service to the Realm and Faith. His reward was the loss of his love, the death of his friends and a betrayal by his king. After five years in an Alpiran dungeon, he just wants to go home.

Reva intends to welcome Vaelin back with a knife between the ribs. He destroyed her family and ruined her life. Nothing will stop her from exacting bloody vengeance – not even the threat of invasion from the greatest enemy the Realm has ever faced.

Yet as the fires of war spread, foes become friends and truths turn to lies. To save the Realm, Reva must embrace a future she does not want – and Vaelin must revisit a past he’d rather leave buried.

TOWER LORD will be published on July 3rd 2014 in hardback, trade format and eBook, in both the UK and US. Anthony Ryan can also be found online at his website and on Twitter.

On a somewhat related note – I’m actually way behind on reading Orbit titles. I love Orbit’s roster of authors, and have been reading them voraciously ever since I got my mitts on Brent Weeks’s Night Angel trilogy, back in 2008 – a series that I absolutely loved. I must get caught up! Expect more to feature in the coming months.