Upcoming: STRANGER OF TEMPEST by Tom Lloyd (Gollancz)


How cool is that cover? True, it is slightly reminiscent of the Fellowship of the Ring scene in which Gandalf faces off against the Balrog while the fellowship is making its way through the Mines of Moria. BUT! The fellow has a rifle. And it looks rather cool, and it’s by Tom Lloyd, who’s a great author. It’s unclear if this is the first book in a new series, or a standalone. Nevertheless, it sounds interesting:

It’s not easy being an honest man in a lawless world…

Lynx is a mercenary with a sense of honour; a dying breed in the Riven Kingdom. Failed by the nation he served and weary of the skirmishes that plague the continent’s principalities, he walks the land in search of purpose. He wants for little so bodyguard work keeps his belly full and his mage-gun loaded. It might never bring a man fame or wealth, but he’s not forced to rely on others or kill without cause.

Little could compel Lynx to join a mercenary company, but he won’t turn his back on a kidnapped girl. At least the job seems simple enough; the mercenaries less stupid and vicious than most he’s met over the years.

So long as there are no surprises or hidden agendas along the way, it should work out fine.

Stranger of Tempest is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz, on June 16th, 2016.

Upcoming: THOSE BELOW by Daniel Polansky (Hodder)


Earlier today, Tor.com shared the cover artwork for Daniel Polansky‘s upcoming new novel, Those Below. It was unveiled earlier by Hodder, although I inexplicably managed to miss that post… The sequel to Those Above, and final novel in the author’s epic fantasy Empty Throne series, it’s due to be published by Hodder in the UK, on March 10th, 2016. I really can’t wait to get my mitts on this one…

Here’s what it’s about:

For centuries beyond counting, humanity has served the Others, god-like Eternals who rule from their cloud-capped mountain-city, building a civilization of unimagined beauty and unchecked viciousness.

But all that is about to change. Bas Alyates, grizzled general of a thousand battles, has assembled a vast army with which to contend with the might of Those Above. Eudokia, Machiavellian matriarch and the power behind the Empty Throne, travels to the Roost, nominally to play peacemaker – but in fact to inspire the human population toward revolt. Deep in the dark byways of the mountain’s lower tiers, the urchin Pyre leads a band of fanatical revolutionaries in acts of terrorism against their inhuman oppressors. Against them, Calla, handmaiden of the Eternals’ king, fights desperately to stave off the rising tide of violence which threatens to destroy her beloved city.


Another Cool CONSTANTINE Cover (DC New 52)

The New 52 Constantine series has been getting some really cool cover, lately. The piece that will grace the 17th issue – by Juan Ferreyra – is particularly cool, too, because it ties in with the centennial commemoration of World War I…


The issue – published on this week – is written by Ray Fawkes, with art by Edgar Salazar and Jay Leisten, and colours by Richard and Tanya Horie. Here’s the synopsis:

John Constantine is no stranger to death, but he’s never seen it on this scale – a spell gone terribly wrong has sent him back through time to World War I! Unfortunately, he’s not the only mage in the trenches… and where death has this much power, black magic couldn’t be more dangerous!

You can check out a preview of the issue here.

A Pair of Upcoming Black Library Novels

It feels like quite some time since I read a Black Library novel. Nevertheless, they keep publishing (or announcing) more that I would like to read. There’s more Gotrek & Felix on the way and also plenty more Horus Heresy fiction coming. Below are new novels in two other series that maybe don’t get as much attention as they deserve…


FrenchJ-A4-AhrimanSorcerorI recently read and reviewed the second Ahriman short story, The Dead Oracle. This despite still not having read the first novel, Ahriman: Exile. Nevertheless, I think French has done a great job of bringing this character to life on the page – at least, this post-Horus Heresy iteration of this character.*

Ahriman, greatest sorcerer of the Thousand Sons and architect of the Rubric that laid his Legion low, continues to walk the path towards salvation, or damnation. Searching for a cure for his Legion, he is forced to consider – was the great ritual somehow flawed from the very beginning? The answer may lie within the mysterious artefact known as the Athenaeum of Kallimakus, a grimoire of forgotten lore which is reputed to contain the exact words of the lost Book of Magnus… or, perhaps, even a transcription of the primarch’s deepest and most secret thoughts.

Ahriman: Sorceror is due to be published in early 2015.

* He first appeared in Graham McNeill’s excellent, New York Times-bestselling A Thousand Sons.



WernerCL-D-DeathbladeMalus Darkblade made his first appearance in the pages of Inferno!, Black Library’s once-bi-monthly magazine of short fiction and comic strips. It was a comic series written by Dan Abnett. Abnett later adapted the comic into prose, which was later taken on by Mike Lee. Now, C.L. Werner, one of BL’s best writers of horror-tinged Warhammer fantasy fiction, has stepped up to the plate. I’m quite looking forward to this novel, despite not reading many of the Darkblade novels. Maybe this is a good excuse to catch up with them…?

Darkblade must decide where his loyalties lie – will he follow Malekith to the death, or will he finally rise up and try to claim the throne of Naggaroth for himself? And either way, will he survive?

It has taken decades, but Malus Darkblade has finally plotted, schemed and murdered his way to power, as the ruler of the city of Hag Graef and general of the Witch King Malekith’s armies. But his position is imperilled when Malekith orders an all-out assault on Ulthuan – with Darkblade in the vanguard. As he wages war on the high elves, Darkblade must decide where his loyalties lie – will he follow Malekith to the death, or will he finally rise up and try to claim the throne of Naggaroth for himself? And either way, will he survive?

Deathblade is due to be published in February 2015.

Upcoming: THE MECHANICAL by Ian Tregillis (Orbit)


I am so excited to read this novel. And how cool is that cover? I like that it really pops off the screen, and imagine it will do the same off the shelves. Ian Tregillis’s Milkweed TriptychBitter Seeds, The Coldest War, and Necessary Evil – is one of my favourite trilogies of all time. His writing is superb, his story-telling near-peerless. Now, we have THE MECHANICAL to look forward to.

Orbit are publishing in March 2015, which feels too far away! I wonder who I can bribe for a review copy…? *Ahem* Of course, I would never do that…

Anyway, here’s the synopsis:

My name is Jax. That is the name granted to me by my human masters.

I am a clakker: a mechanical man, powered by alchemy. Armies of my kind have conquered the world – and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.

I am a faithful servant. I am the ultimate fighting machine. I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.

But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.

I am a slave. But I shall be free.

Also on CR: Guest Post by Ian Tregillis; Reviews of Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War and Necessary Evil



Hot on the heels of the identity of the new Captain America, there’s more on the way! Today, Marvel unveiled the cover for Captain America & The Mighty Avengers #1, a second series to feature Sam Wilson-as-Captain America. The series will be written by Al Ewing. The cover above and internal art for the book are by Luke Ross. The series will spin out of the upcoming Marvel Event (yup, another one), Avengers & X-Men: AXIS.

Sam Wilson has inherited his new patriotic moniker, but is he up to the task of leading a team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? The hero formerly known as Falcon has some new ideas for the rag-tag team of Mighty Avengers – but the events of AXIS may spell doom for the inexperienced leader. And not everyone on the team is happy with Sam’s new position as leader. Spider-Man is back, too – Amazing this time, NOT Superior. Luke Cage & Jessica Jones are still itching to give him some payback for trying to take their daughter to Child Services. And what is Luke Cage doing meeting with the head of the notorious Cortex corporation?

Here’s what Ewing had to say about the series, in an interview with Marvel.com:

“As for the mission statement – same as it’s ever been. Help those in need, however they need it. This is where all the work over the previous series pays off – the Gem theater is refurbished, the hotline is in place, the field team is on standby to take care of problems nobody else can handle. The Mighty Avengers are hitting the ground running.”

Upcoming: GEMINI CELL by Myke Cole (Ace Books)

Screw eloquence with this one: that’s one hell of a cover…


A Dribble of Ink got the scoop on the cover, which is by Larry Rostant. I must say, this is better than the covers for the US editions of the first trilogy – CONTROL POINT, FORTRESS FRONTIER and BREACH ZONE. (The UK covers were a lot better.)

GEMINI CELL is the fourth novel in Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series, although it’s the start of a new trilogy within that ‘world’, set in the early days of the Reawakening of magic in the world. It’s due out in the US in late January 2015, published by Ace Books. Headline will be publishing in the UK, but I wasn’t able to find any more details. Here’s the synopsis:

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself – and his family – in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty – as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark – especially about the fates of his wife and son…

Also on CR: Interview with Myke Cole, Guest Post

Hot Damn: Joey Hi-Fi Covers KILL BAXTER by Charlie Human (South Africa Edition)

How awesome is this cover for Charlie Human’s second novel, Kill Baxter?


It’s by Joey Hi-Fi, who has now done four covers for Charlie’s novels – one for each novel for the UK and South African markets. Here’s the synopsis:


The world has been massively unappreciative of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko. His bloodline may be a combination of ancient Boer mystic and giant shape-shifting crow, and he may have won an inter-dimensional battle and saved the world, but does anyone care? No.

Instead he’s packed off to Hexpoort, a magical training school that’s part reformatory, part military school, and just like Hogwarts (except with sex, drugs, and better internet access). The problem is that Baxter sucks at magic. He’s also desperately attempting to control his new ability to dreamwalk, all the while being singled out by the school’s resident bully, who just so happens to be the Chosen One.

But when the school comes under attack, Baxter needs to forget all that and step into action. The only way is joining forces with his favourite recovering alcoholic of a supernatural bounty hunter, Ronin, to try and save the world from the apocalypse. Again.

Here are the other three covers:


Quite like the way the two Apocalypse Now Now cover have close-ups of Baxter and what’s going on inside his head, while the Kill Baxter covers have pulled back a bit.

Kill Baxter is published this week in the UK by Century, and will be published in South Africa by Umuzi/Random Struik and the US by Titan Books. I’m not actually sure when Apocalypse Now Now and Kill Baxter will be officially released in the US.

For more on Charlie’s novels and writing, be sure to follow him on Twitter. Also, check out my review of Apocalypse Now Now.

Some Pieces of Wolverine Art… (Marvel)

Despite my belief that the mini-series will either be a disappointment, fail to deliver, or quickly retconned, Marvel has released some pretty cool artwork for Death of Wolverine. Today, for example, the following three images arrived in my inbox. They’re a selection of three work-in-progress versions of the same page: pencils, inks, and colours…




The artwork is by Steve McNiven (pencils), Jay Leisten (inks), and Justin Ponsor (colours). The series is written by Charles Soule. Issue one of Death of Wolverine will be published on September 3rd, 2014 – it will also include 20 pages of bonus content, like these progression pages.

In addition to these three versions of the page, Marvel have also unveiled some Canadian variant covers. Why Canada? Well, Wolverine is Canadian. Here are the variant covers and the series synopsis…


Born in Alberta, Canada – James Howlett’s long and eventful life now comes to an end. He has been counted among the X-Men, the Avengers and Canada’s own Alpha Flight.  He’s fought alongside heroes in numerous wars. He’s been the headmaster of a school for gifted youngsters. He has been the best there is at what he does for over a century. But the day has come where his best is not enough…

Left without his mutant healing factor, his enemies now close in for the kill – and the Wolverine faces his greatest battle alone. As he runs the gauntlet of his deadliest foes, be there when the once indestructible killing machine makes his final stand! What does a world without Wolverine look like?


In case you’re wondering, the plethora of Maple Leaves all over those covers is kind of appropriate…