Upcoming from Hodder Books (UK): “The Forever Watch” and “Lagoon”…

It’s Saturday night, and I’m stuck at home. So, naturally, I’m reading publishers’ catalogues. Currently, I’m reading Hodder Books’ Spring 2014 catalogue, which means I’ve got more information on a number of books that I’m excited to read this year.

PrintFirst up, we have David Ramirez’s THE FOREVER WATCH:

The Truth is only the beginning.

The Noah: a city-sized ship, half-way through an eight hundred year voyage to another planet. In a world where deeds, and even thoughts, cannot be kept secret, a man is murdered; his body so ruined that his identity must be established from DNA evidence. Within hours, all trace of the crime is swept away, hidden as though it never happened. Hana Dempsey, a mid-level bureaucrat genetically modified to use the Noah’s telepathic internet, begins to investigate. Her search for the truth will uncover the impossible: a serial killer who has been operating on board for a lifetime… if not longer.

And behind the killer lies a conspiracy centuries in the making.

The Forever Watch is due to be published on March 20th 2014 in the UK by Hodder, and April 22nd 2014 in the US by Thomas Dunne.

Update: Just been informed by Hodder that The Forever Watch has been pushed back to a May 1st publication.

OkoraforN-LagoonNext, we have Nnedi Okorafor’s LAGOON:

A star falls from the sky. A woman rises from the sea. The world will never be the same.

Three strangers, each isolated by his or her own problems: Adaora, the marine biologist. Anthony, the rapper, famous throughout Africa. Agu, the troubled soldier. Each wandering Bar Beach in Lagos, they’re more alone than they’ve ever been before.

But when a meteorite plunges into the ocean and a tidal wave overcomes them, these three people will find themselves bound together in ways they could never have imagined. Together with Ayodele, a visitor from beyond the stars, they must race through Lagos and against time itself in order to save the city, the world, and themselves.

Love that Joey Hi-Fi cover… Lagoon is due to be published by Hodder in the UK and US in April 2014.

For more on Hodder Books’ science fiction, fantasy and horror publishing, be sure to check out the Hodderscape website.

Upcoming: “Black Moon” by Kenneth Calhoun (Hogarth)

CalhounK-BlackMoonUKThis is a really intriguing-looking novel. A copy of the novel arrived in the mail yesterday (complete with an eye-mask…). Here is the synopsis for Kenneth Calhoun’s dystopian future novel, Black Moon

Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world. Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness. Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend. All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.

Black Moon will be published in March 2014 by Hogarth (an imprint of Random House) in both the UK and US.

Artwork: “Gotrek & Felix: The Serpent Queen” by Joshua Reynolds (Black Library)

I must have said it a hundred times on the blog, now, but I really must get around to reading Josh Reynold’s Road of Skulls, his first full-length novel featuring my favourite Dwarf Slayer and human companion… In advance of that, though, I spotted the artwork for Reynolds’s next novel in the series, The Serpent Queen:

ReynoldsJ-G&F-SerpentQueen

Sorry for the low-quality image, but I wanted to share the cover anyway. It’s one of my all-time favourite fantasy series, so I’m always excited for news and more fiction (even if it does take me altogether too long to get around to reading them…). Here’s the synopsis:

Gotrek and Felix: unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely upon whom you ask… Travelling to the mysterious south in search of a mighty death, the Slayer Gotrek Gurnisson and his human companion, Felix Jaeger, find themselves caught up in a battle between warring kingdoms. Captured by the sinister Queen Khalida and forced to do her bidding, the adventurers must brave the horrors of the sun-soaked Land of the Dead, where the dead do not rest easy.

Serpent Queen is due to be published in March/April 2014. Road of Skulls and David Guymer’s City of the Damned are available now from Black Library. In addition, the first in the series, William King’s Trollslayer, has recently been re-released as part of the Black Library Classics series – it is, in my humble opinion, a must-read.

Gotrek&Felix-AlsoAvailableNew

Upcoming: “Half Bad” by Sally Green (Viking YA/Penguin)

GreenS-HalfBadI just spotted this via an advert on Goodreads (well-played, Google Ad Algorithm, well-played…). The cover really caught my eye, and I thought I’d share it on here. It’s pretty cool, no? I particularly like the way the blood in the water has been shaped (in a surprisingly realistic way) into a face, in an otherwise minimalist image.

The premise is pretty interesting, but I have a suspicion that it’s perhaps a little reminiscent of something else… If only I could remember what it reminds me of… Anyway. Here’s the synopsis:

One boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Easy.

Half Bad will be published by Penguin UK in March 2014. Penguin are also publishing in the US and Canada. It is Sally Green’s debut novel, and the first in a projected trilogy. The author is also on Twitter. Described as “supernatural thriller set in a modern world inhabited by covert witches”, I am pretty sure there are going to be a lot of people interested in reading this. Despite the obvious Harry Potter parallels (justified or not, as they may end up being). There’s a slightly different synopsis on the book’s website:

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled like a dog, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers — before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

I did some Googling, and it turns out that the rights to this novel have already been sold in 25 foreign rights deals. Within 13 weeks of Penguin’s first acquisition. Holy crap, that’s impressive. The Bookseller rightly (perhaps rather tamely) referred to the deal as “unprecedented”. No idea how much it went for in the first place – in secret-publishing-deal-speak, the deal was only referred to as “substantial”. This sort of deal is pretty unusual, so yeah. I’m a bit more intrigued…

Upcoming: “Avengers: Endless Wartime” (Marvel)

AvengersCoverFINAL

This is just a badass image. One of my favourite, recent pieces

In October 2013, Marvel will be releasing the first in a new series of original graphic novels. For those of us who tend to wait for collected editions of the monthly series, this is a great development. We’ll get a decent, “movie-length epic” (according to the press release). Here’s the premise for the first book, Avengers: Endless Wartime:

An abomination, long thought buried, has resurfaced in a war-torn land – but now it wears an American flag. Faced with another nightmare reborn, Captain America will not stand for yet more death at the hands of a ghost from his past. Haunted by his greatest shame, Thor must renew the hunt for a familiar beast. Side by side with the great Super Heroes the world has seen, united to end the threats no one of them could face alone, the Avengers will stare down the greatest threat the team has ever faced. But is even their combined might enough to overcome a force of pure evil?

So, that’s a little vague, but couple this synopsis, the title, the fact that it’s written by Warren Ellis, and also the cover (below), and I think this is going to be pretty awesome. “Chart-topping” artist Mike McKone is providing the illustrations and, while I don’t recall reading any of his work previously, the preview pages suggest an interesting, attractive and clean art-style for the book.

AvengersCoverFINAL

Warren Ellis, whose recent novel Gun Machine has received rave reviews for all corners of the reviewing public, had this to say on the project:

“When Marvel asked me to help re-launch their original graphic novel line, I had to say yes. Their total commitment, from story to design, made it a project I wanted to be part of.”

The graphic novel is bookended by an introduction from Clark Gregg, better known as fan-favourite character Agent Phil Coulson from The Avengers (and other Marvel Studios movies). There will also be an afterword from Stan Lee, who is one of the co-creators of the Avengers.

Avengers-EndlessWartime-Interior2

There’s something about Captain America’s character that really
lends itself to moody, cinematic shots.

Avengers: Endless Wartime will also be released simultaneously worldwide in North America, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, Finland and Turkey. Every international edition will be translated into each their respective nation’s primary language. Which is a pretty cool initiative, and something that should be encouraged. (This is apparently the first time this will be done.)

And, finally, and as-normal-for-Marvel, the graphic novel will also include a free code for a bonus, digital edition of the book, redeemable through the Marvel Comics App and online in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop.

I’m really looking forward to trying this out. Roll on October.

Upcoming: “Martian Sands” by Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)

Tidhar-MartianSandsLavie Tidhar, award-winning author of Osama and The Bookman Histories, will be releasing a new novella this month: Martian Sands. I must sadly admit that I haven’t read much of Tidhar’s work – something I definitely intend to remedy in the near future, probably starting with this. here’s the synopsis:

1941: an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbour, a man from the future materialises in President Roosevelt’s office. His offer of military aid may cut the War and its pending atrocities short, and alter the course of the future…

The future: welcome to Mars, where the lives of three ordinary people become entwined in one dingy smokesbar the moment an assassin opens fire. The target: the mysterious Bill Glimmung. But is Glimmung even real? The truth might just be found in the remote FDR Mountains, an empty place, apparently of no significance, but where digital intelligences may be about to bring to fruition a long-held dream of the stars…

Mixing mystery and science fiction, the Holocaust and the Mars of both Edgar Rice Burroughs and Philip K. Dick, Martian Sands is a story of both the past and future, of hope, and love, and of finding meaning — no matter where — or when — you are.

Upcoming: “Shattered Pillars” by Elizabeth Bear (Tor)

Bear-ShatteredPillarsThe Shattered Pillars is the second book of Elizabeth Bear’s The Eternal Sky trilogy, and the sequel to Range of Ghosts. It’s a series I’ve been meaning to read, but I wasn’t in the US to pick up a copy of the first book when it first came out, and by the time I returned, I was swamped with other books for review. I will make more of an effort to get around to this series, though. Soon…

Set in a world drawn from our own great Asian Steppes, this saga of magic, politics and war sets Re-Temur, the exiled heir to the great Khagan and his friend Sarmarkar, a Wizard of Tsarepheth, against dark forces determined to conquer all the great Empires along the Celedon Road.

The Shattered Pillars will be published by Tor on March 19th 2013.