Upcoming: AMERICAN HEROIN by Melissa Scrivner Love (Crown)

LoveMS-LV2-AmericanHeroinUSHCMelissa Scrivner Love‘s debut novel, Lola, marked the critically-acclaimed beginning of a new voice in crime fiction, not to mention the introduction of an interesting new protagonist: Lola Vasquez, the leader of a drug gang in Los Angeles. Early next year, Lola returns in American Heroin, which sounds really good:

The unforgettable protagonist of Lola returns in a gritty, high-octane thriller about a brilliant woman who will stop at nothing to protect her growing drug empire, even if she has to go to war with a rival cartel… or her own family

It took sacrifice, pain, and more than a few dead bodies, but Lola has clawed her way to the top of her South Central Los Angeles neighborhood. Her gang has grown beyond a few trusted soldiers into a full-fledged empire, and the influx of cash has opened up a world that she has never known–one where her daughter can attend a good school, where her mother can live in safety, and where Lola can finally dream of a better life. But with great opportunity comes great risk, and as Lola ascends the hierarchy of the city’s underworld she attracts the attention of a dangerous new cartel who sees her as their greatest obstacle to dominance. Soon Lola finds herself sucked into a deadly all-out drug war that threatens to destroy everything she’s built.

But even as Lola readies to go to war, she learns that the greatest threat may not be a rival drug lord but a danger far closer to home: her own brother.

Edgy, complex, and breathtakingly propulsive, Melissa Scrivner Love has crafted a novel sure to please not only those who loved her first book but everyone who enjoys a gripping thriller.

American Heroin is due to be published in North America by Crown Publishing in February 2019, and Point Blank in the UK in March 2019. Lola is out now in paperback, published by Broadway Books in North America and Point Blank in the UK.

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Upcoming: THE GUTTER PRAYER by Gareth Hanrahan (Orbit)

HanrahanG-BIL1-GutterPrayerI stumbled across the synopsis for Gareth Hanrahan‘s upcoming novel on, I think, Amazon a week or so ago, and thought it sounded really interesting. Yesterday, Orbit unveiled the fantastic cover by the ever-excellent Richard Anderson. The first novel in the Black Iron Legacy series, here’s the synopsis for The Gutter Prayer:

A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy.

The ancient city of Guerdon has always been. The city must finally end.

When three thieves – an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man – are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.

Cari is a drifter whose past and future are darker than she can know.

Rat is a Ghoul, whose people haunt the city’s underworld.

Spar is a Stone Man, subject to a terrible disease that is slowly petrifying his flesh.

Chance has brought them together, but their friendship could be all that stands in the way of total armageddon.

The Gutter Prayer is due to be published by Orbit Books in North America and in the UK, in January 2019.

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Upcoming: THE BIRD KING by G. Willow Wilson (Grove)

WilsonGW-BirdKingUSG. Willow Wilson is the author of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning Alif the Unseen (an NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year) and the critically-acclaimed Ms. Marvel comic series. I’ve long been a fan of her work, and her next novel has really caught my attention. The Bird King is described as “a fantastical journey set at the height of the Spanish Inquisition” and “a jubilant story of love versus power, religion versus faith, and freedom versus safety”, here’s the official synopsis:

Set in 1491 during the reign of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula, The Bird King is the story of Fatima, the only remaining Circassian concubine to the sultan, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret — he can make maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality with his pen and paper. His magical gift has proven useful to the sultan’s armies in wartime and entertained a bored Fatima who has never stepped foot outside the palace walls.

When a party representing the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrives to negotiate the terms of the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, little realizing that her new friend Luz represents the Inquisition, and will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery, and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With everything on the line, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan, and taste the freedom she has never known?

Fatima and Hassan traverse Iberia to the port, helped along the way by a jinn who has taken a liking to them — Vikram the Vampire, who readers may remember from Alif the Unseen. Pursued all the while by Luz, who somehow always seems to know where they will end up, they narrowly escape from her generals by commandeering a ship, and accidentally also the snoozing Breton monk belowdecks. Though they are unsure whether to trust him, because he is a member of the very same faith they are running from, they nevertheless set about learning from him how to crew a ship. And as it becomes clearer both that there is no place on the mainland that they will be safe, and that the three of them are destined to stay together, they set out to do something they never thought possible — to find the mysterious, possibly mythic island of The Bird King, whose shifting boundaries will hopefully keep them safe.

An epic adventure to find safety in a mythical realm, The Bird King challenges us to consider what true love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

The Bird King is due to be published by Grove on March 12th, 2019.

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Upcoming: Golden Age Masterworks Editions (Gollancz)

Just spotted these today, while looking for something else on the Orion Books website: four new Golden Age Masterworks editions. Gollancz has been publishing Masterworks editions for some time, now, and this looks like an interesting (not to mention attractive) new series of classics. I’m not sure if there are going to be more novels in the collection, but so far I’ve found these four, all of which are due to be published on January 10th, 2019: E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s Galactic Patrol (1937), Henry Kuttner’s Fury (1947), Arthur C. Clarke’s The Sands of Mars (1951), and C.L. Moore’s Doomsday Morning (1957).

As a testament to how useful this type of publishing programme is, I’d not heard of any of these novels, so I’m glad they’re being brought back into circulation. (Also, I really like the covers…)

SmithEED-GalacticPatrolUKGAMGALACTIC PATROL by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith

The space-pirates of Boskone raided at will, menacing the whole structure of interstellar civilization. Master-minded by a super-scientist, their conquering fleets outgunned even the mighty space cruisers of the Galactic Patrol.

When Lensman Kim Kinnison of the Patrol discovered the secret Boskonian base, it was invulnerable to outside attack. But where a battle-fleet would meet insuperable resistance, a single infiltrator might penetrate the Boskonian defenses — if he had the guts to take on million-to-one odds. Kinnison had guts enough to take on the odds — even with the future of the civilized Universe riding on his shoulders…

Galactic Patrol is the third self-contained novel in E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s epic Lensman series, one of the all-time classics of adventurous, galaxy-spanning science fiction.

A quick search on Amazon suggests that Smith’s Grey Lensman, Second-Stage Lensman and Children of the Lens are also due to be issued as part of this collection.

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KuttnerH-FuryUKGAMFURY by Henry Kuttner

The Earth is long dead, blasted apart, and the human survivors who settled on Venus live in huge citadels beneath the Venusian seas in an atrophying, class-ridden society ruled by the Immortals — genetic mutations who live a thousand years or more. Sam Reed was born an immortal, born to rule those with a normal life-span, but his deranged father had him mutilated as a baby so that he wouldn’t know of his heritage. And Sam grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and the law, thinking of the Immortals as his enemies. Then he reached the age of eighty, understood what had happened to him and went looking for revenge — and changed his decaying world forever.

Fury is a powerful, dark and compelling novel that explores the sensual, bloody and urgent nature of humankind’s striving.

I think this might be the only one of Kuttner’s books to be included in this new masterworks collection (this may change).

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ClarkeAC-SandsOfMarsUKGAMTHE SANDS OF MARS by Arthur C. Clarke

It is the twenty-first century. On Mars a dedicated group of pioneers — among them some of Earth’s finest brains — struggle to change the face of the planet…

Science fiction writer Martin Gibson finally gets a chance to visit the research colony on the Red Planet. It’s a dream come true — until he discovers the difficulties and perils of survival on another world… and the very real terror it holds.

This is Clarke’s first published novel. Not sure if any of Clarke’s other novels are going to be released as part of this collection (I couldn’t find any information on Amazon or Orion’s website, anyway).

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MooreCL-DoomsdayMorningUKGAMDOOMSDAY MORNING by C.L. Moore

Comus, the communications network/police force, has spread its web of power all across an America paralyzed by the after-effects of limited nuclear war. But in California, resistance is building against the dictatorship of Comus and Andrew Raleigh, president for life. For now Raleigh is dying and the powers of Comus are fading. It’s the perfect time for the Californian revolutionaries to activate the secret weapon that alone can destroy America’s totalitarian system and re-establish democracy.

Yet Comus too has powers at its disposal, chief among them Howard Rohan. A washed-up actor until Comus offers him a second chance, Rohan will head a troupe of players touring in the heart of rebel territory.

Howard Rohan, double agent, caught between the orders of Comus and rebels demands. Which side will he choose? Who will he play false — himself, or the entire country?

According to Amazon UK, it looks like Moore’s Judgement Night, North West of Earth, and Jirel of Joiry are also going to be re-issued as part of this collection.

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Anyone read any of these classics? Any other titles you’d like to see released as part of this collection?

New AQUAMAN and SHAZAM! trailers dropped at SDCC…

Two new trailers for upcoming DC Comics movies dropped at SDCC, and both have certainly grabbed my attention, not to mention increased my anticipation. First up, Aquaman, Jason Momoa’s first solo outing as the titular hero:

Aquaman stars Momoa, Amber Heard (Mera), Dolph Lundgren (), Patrick Wilson (Orm), Willem Dafoe, Djimon Hounsou and more. The movie was directed by James Wan, and the screenplay had input from a number of people, including Wan, Geoff Johns (who wrote the Aquaman comic for a while, and is responsible for guiding Hollywood overall around the DC universe and its characters).

And second, Shazam!, which isn’t a comic I’m familiar with, but nevertheless looks like it could be a lot of fun:

It’s been a while since I last saw Zachary Levi in anything, but I am a huge fan of Chuck, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy his part in this, too. The movie also stars Mark Strong (he of the best voice in film, and playing a bad guy again), and some younger actors I’ve never heard of before. The movie is directed by David F. Sandberg, and was written by Henry Gayden. Interestingly, Djimon Hounsou is in this one, too.

Much has been made of the gloomy Zack Snyder DC Comic movieverse, some of which I have liked and some of which I didn’t. While I am not against gloomy, gritty superhero movies (The Dark Knight, for example), and generally my issues with the DC movies have not been related to the atmosphere/texture of the movies, I am glad we’re getting some lighter fare in the coming months/years.

I’m really looking forward to both of these movies.

Upcoming: TRIGGER by David Swinson (Mulholland)

SwinsonD-FM3-TriggerUSI read David Swinson‘s The Second Girl and Crime Song back-to-back last year, and I absolutely loved them. The first book made Swinson one of my must-read novelists, and the sequel only confirmed it. Ever since, I’ve been eagerly awaiting news of a third book in the series (or a stand-alone, I’m not too picky). In a recently-uploaded catalog on Edelweiss, I found information about Trigger, the third novel featuring troubled private investigator Frank Marr. Unfortunately, it’s not due to be published until February 2019 (by Mulholland Books), which is so far away!

Frank Marr was a good cop, until his burgeoning addictions to alcohol and cocaine forced him into retirement from the D.C. Metro police. Now, he’s barely eking out a living as a private investigator for a defense attorney — also Frank’s ex-girlfriend.

Ostracized by his family after a botched case that led to the death of his baby cousin, Jeffrey, Frank was on a collision course with rock bottom. Now clean and clinging hard to sobriety, Frank passes the time — and tests himself — by robbing the houses of local dealers, taking their cash and flushing their drugs down the toilet. When an old friend from his police days needs Frank’s help to prove he didn’t shoot an unarmed civilian, Frank is drawn back into the world of dirty cops and suspicious drug busts, running in the same circles that enabled his addiction those years ago.

Never one to play by the rules, Frank recruits a young man he nearly executed years before. Together — a good man trying not to go bad and a bad man trying to do good — detective and criminal charge headfirst into the D.C. drug wars. Neither may make it out.

Trigger is one of my most-anticipated novels, and I can’t wait to read it. David Swinson’s novels are published by Mulholland Books in North America and in the UK.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Second Girl and Crime Song

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Upcoming: MOTHERLAND by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland)

BeukesL-MotherlandUSI’m a big fan of Lauren Beukes‘s novels, so I was very excited to learn about her upcoming book, Motherland. Due to be published by Mulholland Books in April 2019 (so far away!), it sounds really interesting:

This is America, but not like you know it. Years after the decimation of the male population by a super-virus, the country has refashioned itself with new laws, new customs, and new methods of shame and punishment. Now, hiding a living and healthy male is one of the gravest offenses, rivaled only by the murder of a man. Cole is a mother on the run, guilty of both crimes, and desperate to find a safe life for her adolescent boy Miles.

As the two drift throughout the transformed states of the West, they hide Miles’ identity while evading a mysterious, powerful man bent on justice. From a commune in the Rockies to a high security laboratory in the redwoods of northern California, the two tensely negotiate an existence on the fringes of a new America.

Cole’s goal for her son and herself is escape, a family in South Africa, a slim chance at a better life. Mother and child see their chance, at last, in the wanderings and secret goals of a cult — if only Cole can keep Miles’ true self hidden, and as long as they can stay one step ahead of an ex-boyfriend from hell.

If you can’t wait that long, I’d highly recommend The Shining GirlsBroken Monsters and the graphic novel Survivors’ Club.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters

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