Upcoming: IRONCLADS and DOGS OF WAR by Adrian Tchaikovsky

As longtime readers will no doubt be aware, I love Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s work (despite having fallen behind a bit…). In addition to the recently-released The Bear and the Serpent (Tor UK), Adrian has a two other books coming out this year:

TchaikovskyA-IroncladsIRONCLADS (Solaris)

Scions have no limits. Scions do not die. And Scions do not disappear.

Sergeant Ted Regan has a problem. A son of one of the great corporate families, a Scion, has gone missing at the front. He should have been protected by his Ironclad — the lethal battle suits that make the Scions masters of war — but something has gone catastrophically wrong. Now Regan and his men, ill equipped and demoralised, must go behind enemy lines, find the missing Scion, and uncover how his suit failed.

Is there a new Ironclad-killer out there? And how are common soldiers lacking the protection afforded the rich supposed to survive the battlefield of tomorrow?

Ironclads is due to be published by Solaris in November.

Tchaikovsky-DogsOfWarUKDOGS OF WAR (Head of Zeus)

Rex is a Good Dog. He loves humans. He hates enemies. He’s utterly obedient to Master.

He’s also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, he’s part of a Multi-form Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, Southeastern Mexico.

Rex is a genetically engineered bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he’s got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?

Dogs of War is also due to be published in November by Head of Zeus in the UK.

I’m really looking forward to both of these!

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”, “Eye of the Spider”; Excerpt from Guns of the Dawn

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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Guest Review: THE THREE BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu (Tor Books)

Liu-ThreeBodyProblemA satisfying start to a Hugo Award-winning Sci-Fi trilogy

With the scope of Dune and the commercial action of Independence Day, Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

Reviewed by Ryan Frye

It is hard to believe that The Three-Body Problem won the 2015 Hugo award for best novel. Not because it isn’t deserving of the accolade — it is — but because, when I read it, I felt like I was reading a classic work of Science Fiction. The Three-Body Problem tackles the classic genre idea of whether or not there is other intelligent life in the universe. While the book is rooted in a question that could be traced back to the earliest beginnings of the genre, this book takes a markedly different and unique approach from the very first page. Continue reading

New Books! (December, Pre-Xmas)

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Featuring: Stefan Ahnhem, Cristina Alger, Ros Barber, Clifford Beal, Stephen Birmingham, Eric Brown, Robin Burcell, Sarah Cain, Matt Carter, Toby Clements, Michael Cobley, Jamie Doward, Michael Ebner, Dan Fesperman, Alison Gaylin, Steven Gore, Ian Graham, Samantha Hunt, Mary Robinette Kowal, Joe R. Lansdale, Helen Lowe, Andrew Marr, Charles McCarry, Peter Newman, K.J. Parker, Daniel Polansky, Stephen S. Power, Terry Pratchett, Jamie Sawyer, Victoria Schwab, Charlotte Silver, Anna Small, A.F.E. Smith, Jean Stein, Tricia Sullivan, Michael Thomas, Ilija Trojanow, Catherynne M. Valente, Jo Walton, Hester Young

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Continue reading

New Books (August-September)

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Featuring: Paul Cornell, Patrick DeWitt, John French, John Grisham, Garth Risk Hallberg, Lauren Holmes, Chrissie Hynde, Michael Livingston, Jonathan Maberry, Joel McIver, Patrick Ness, Nnedi Okorafor, K.J. Parker, Daniel Polansky, Alter S. Reiss, Geoff Renoff, Anthony Reynolds, Jeffrey Rotter, F. Wesley Schneider, Angela Slatter, A.J. Smith, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Michael R. Underwood, Matt Wallace, Chuck Wendig, Kai Ashante Wilson, Tom Wood, Sunil Yapa

LokiOooh Continue reading

Audio Review: HOW STAR WARS CONQUERED THE UNIVERSE by Chris Taylor (Basic Books/Head of Zeus)

TaylorC-HowStarWarsConqueredUniverseUSThe book every Star Wars fan is looking for…? Yes.

Why do most people know what an Ewok is, even if they haven’t seen Return of the Jedi? How have Star Wars action figures come to outnumber human beings? How did ‘Jedi’ become an officially recognised religion? When did the films’ merchandising revenue manage to rival the GDP of a small country?

Tracing the birth, death and rebirth of the epic universe built by George Lucas and hundreds of writers, artists, producers, and marketers, Chris Taylor jousts with modern-day Jedi, tinkers with droid builders, and gets inside Boba Fett’s helmet, all to find out how STAR WARS has attracted and inspired so many fans for so long.

This book is the first comprehensive history of the Star Wars phenomenon, tracing its origins and examining the incredible impact the films (especially the first three) had on science fiction, film-making and storytelling. Written by Mashable journalist Chris Taylor, this book is a fascinating trove of trivia, insight and observation. Taylor traces almost every kernel of influence — from George Lucas’s fascination and fondness for Flash Gordon to his early days of wanting to be a race-car driver — to paint the most detailed picture of the franchise’s evolution. I alternated between the audiobook edition (provided by Audible UK) and an eARC (provided by Basic Books).

The short version of this review is pretty simple: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is a must-read for all fans of science fiction. Continue reading

Upcoming: Preston & Child’s AGENT PENDERGAST Series (Head of Zeus)

PrestonChild-Pendergast1to5UK

I’ve always been interested in reading Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child‘s Agent Pendergast series. Unfortunately, for a long time, the first few novels in the series weren’t easily available in the UK — and, being series-OCD, I didn’t want to start in the middle. Thankfully, Head of Zeus has stepped up to the plate, and on December 18th (next week) will be publishing the first five novels in the series (plus a short story, Extraction): RelicReliquaryThe Cabinet of CuriositiesStill Life With Crows, and Brimstone. The publisher is also releasing three other novels by the two authors — RiptideThunderhead, and The Ice Limit (no covers for these, yet).

Here’s the synopsis for Relic:

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human…

But the museum’s directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.

Agent Pendergast must find out who — or what — is doing the killing. But can he do it in time to stop a massacre?

New Books (November #1)

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A quieter month — I don’t know if that’s just because there’s less coming out, or because I’ve somehow missed a bunch of new releases that never made it on to my radar. Feel free to add suggestions and recommendations in the comments, if you think I’ve missed something I shouldn’t have.

Featuring: Ben Aaronovitch, Stephen Blackmoore, Myke Cole, Francesca Haig, Stephen King, E.C. Myers, Ben Okri, Matthew Reilly Continue reading