A small selection of interesting books coming up from Titan Books UK, in 2015…
Adam Christopher, THE MACHINE AWAKES (April)
As humanity fights a destructive mechanical race, a government agent finds a conspiracy far closer to home in this far future space opera set in the Spider War universe of The Burning Dark.
In the decades since the human race first made contact with the Spiders — a machine race capable of tearing planets apart — the two groups have fought over interstellar territory. But the war has not been going well for humankind, and with the failure of the Fleet Admiral’s secret plan in the Shadow system, the commander is overthrown by a group of hardliners determined to get the war back on track.
When the deposed Fleet Admiral is assassinated, Special Agent Von Kodiak suspects the new guard is eliminating the old. But when the Admiral’s replacement is likewise murdered, all bets are off as Kodiak discovers the prime suspect is one of the Fleet’s own, a psi-marine and decorated hero—a hero killed in action, months ago, at the same time his twin sister vanished from the Fleet Academy, where she was training to join her brother on the front.
As Kodiak investigates, he uncovers a conspiracy that stretches from the slums of Salt City to the floating gas mines of Jupiter. There, deep in the roiling clouds of the planet, the Jovian Mining Corporation is hiding something, a secret that will tear the Fleet apart and that the Morning Star, a group of militarized pilgrims linked to terrorist atrocities across the whole of Fleetspace, is determined to uncover.
But there is something else hiding in Jovian system. Something insidious and intelligent, machine-like and hungry.
The Spiders are near.
The second novel in the Spider Wars series, following The Burning Dark. [An earlier version of this post had an incorrect sysnopsis. This one is longer and better, straight from the author.] The Machine Awakes is due to be published in North America by Tor Books. Christopher will also have another novel published in the UK by Titan Books this year, one which I’m really looking forward to… More to come.
Chris Evans, OF BONE AND THUNDER (February)
Channelling the turbulent period of the Vietnam War and its ruthless pitting of ideologies, cultures, generations, and races against each other, military historian and acclaimed fantasy writer Chris Evans takes a daring new approach to the traditional world of sword and sorcery by thrusting it into a maelstrom of racial animus, drug use, rebellion, and a growing war that seems at once unwinnable and with no end in sight. In this thrilling epic, right and wrong, country and honor, freedom and sacrifice are all put to the ultimate test in the heart of a dark, bloody, otherworldly jungle.
In this strange, new world deep among the shadows under a triple-canopy jungle and plagued by dangers real and imagined, soldiers strive to fulfill a mission they don’t understand and are ill-equipped to carry out. And high above them, the heavy rush of wings slashing through the humid air herald a coming wave of death and destruction, and just possibly, salvation.
This looks like a really interesting novel. I picked up a copy not so long ago in Canada, but I’m glad it’s now got a publisher and release date in the UK. Of Bone and Thunder is published in the US by Gallery Books.
Daryl Gregory, HARRISON SQUARED (March)
Harrison Harrison — H2 to his mom — is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school.
On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife-wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources — and an unusual host of allies — to defeat the danger and find his mother.
I’m a big fan of Daryl Gregory’s writing (his novels and also his comics). I was lucky enough to read an early draft of this novel, and I really liked it. It was fun, well-written and really interesting. I can’t wait to read the final version. Harrison Squared is due to be published in North America by Tor Books.
Randy Henderson, FINN FANCY NECROMANCY (February)
Found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit in 1986, 15-year-old Finn Gramaraye was exiled to the Other Realm for 25 years. But now he’s back in the mortal world and is disappointed to discover that he’s middle-aged, DeLoreans can’t fly, and he’s been framed for murdering someone with dark necromancy — again. He has three days to clear his name and win back his high-school crush, but his nuclear family is something of a disaster: his father has gone mad, his mother’s a ghost, his sister is allergic is magic, one brother thinks he’s a werewolf, and the other is busy running the family necrotorium business, andseems most disappointed that Finn is back on the scene… Who can he trust to help him? Forced to team up with the ex-partner of the enforcer he’s accused of killing, Finn encounters a host of supernatural creatures as he struggles to regain his memories and figure out who wants him gone, before it’s too late.
This novel sounds like it could be quirky and fun.