Upcoming in 2017… Orbit Books

upcoming2017-orbit2

Here are some of my most-anticipated novels published by Orbit Books…

Featuring: Jordanna Max Brodsky, M.R. Carey, Nicholas Eames, Charlie Fletcher, Dale Lucas, Brian McClellan, David Mealing, Elizabeth Moon, Claire North, Jon Skovron, Kim Stanley Robinson, Sam Sykes

[Updated on January 16th with five more books; and on February 2nd with a video of interviews with new Orbit authors.]

Continue reading

Advertisements

New Books (March)

SW-ChewieChill

Featuring: Daniel Abraham, Jason Arnopp, Stephen Aryan, Madeline Ashby, Adrian Barnes, Terry Brooks, Steve Cavanagh, Catherine Cerveny, Curtis C. Chen, Jennifer Close, Brenda Cooper, John DeCure, Christopher Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Deena Goldstone, Jack Grimwood, Aidan Harte, Nathan Hill, L.S. Hilton, Roger Hobbs, Trevor Hoyle, Richard A. Knaak, Spencer Kope, Giles Kristian, Robert Kroese, Jason LaPier, Glenda Larke, James Lovegrove, Drew Magary, Gail Z. Martin, Malka Older, Melissa F. Olson, Stephanie Saulter, Jon Skovron, Sam Sykes, Laura van Den Berg, Dan Vyleta, David Wingrove, Ben H. Winters, John Wray

SW-KittieLightsabers

Continue reading

Quick Review: THE CITY STAINED RED by Sam Sykes (Orbit/Gollancz)

SykesS-4-TheCityStainedRed

The start of a new trilogy: better, funnier, great place to start

Long before he was sent to hell, the Aeon known as Khoth-Kapira was the closest thing to a living god the world had ever known. Possessed of a vast intellect, he pioneered many of the wonders that persist in the world long after he was banished. Nearly every fragment of medical, economic and technological progress that the mortal races enjoyed could be traced back to him. But with his wonders came cruelty beyond measure: industrialised slavery, horrifying experimentations and a rage that would eventually force the world to bow to him.

Now, as Khoth-Kapira stirs, the world begins to shudder with disasters yet to come.The epicenter is the city of Cier’Djaal. A religious war between two unstoppable military juggernauts begins to brew. The racial fury among many peoples of the world is about to explode. Demons begin to pour from the shadows at the head of a vicious cult worshipping dark powers.

And Lenk finds himself in the middle once more, his fate and the fate of Khoth-Kapira interlinked as the demon attempts to convince him of his earnestness.

“Your world is breaking around you,” He Who Makes says, “let me fix it. Let me help you. Let me out.”

Sam Sykes is one of my favourite fantasy authors. His novels are great, big, fun slabs of dark, tongue-in-cheek fantasy with plenty of conventions turned on their heads. The City Stained Red is the first novel in a new trilogy, set in the same world and featuring the same characters as his Aeons Gate trilogy. However, it is also a great jumping-on point, if you haven’t read the first three novels. Continue reading

New Books (October)

BooksReceived-20141031

Featuring: Neal Asher, Paolo Bacigalupi, Marie Brennan, Genevieve Cogman, Brian Cox, William Gibson, Mira Grant, Kate Griffin, John Grisham, Nicholas Kaufmann, Jasper Kent, Stephen King, Ben Lerner, Peyton Marshall, Mark Charan Newton, Anne Rice, Justin Richards, Sebastian Rotella, Patrick Rothfuss, John Sandford & Michele Cook, Wilbur Smith, Edward St. Aubyn, Sam Sykes, Kazuaki Takano, Lynne Truss, John Twelve Hawks, Simon Unsworth, Debbie Viguie, SJ Watson

Continue reading

Upcoming: “A City Stained Red” by Sam Sykes (Gollancz)

Sykes-04-ACityStainedRedI’m a fan of Sam Sykes’s novels. I thought both Tome of the Undergates and Black Halo were wonderfully subversive, dark and twisted takes on the fantasy genre. Sykes’s sense of humour is great, and runs throughout the novels without undermining the sense of adventure and action of the story. I’ve been woefully, shamefully slow about getting around to Skybound Sea, too. Nevertheless, the author’s story and characters continue apace! This April, Gollancz will be publishing the first in a new trilogy starring the loveable, dysfunctional heroes we have come to know and love(ish). A City Stained Red is the first in The Scion’s Gate trilogy.

Here is the synopsis…

The Scion’s Gate is a trilogy that tells the story of the struggle between the adventurer, Lenk, and his companions and the demons trying to break free from hell in order to resume their own agendas.

Long before he was sent to hell, the Aeon known as Khoth-Kapira was the closest thing to a living god the world had ever known. Possessed of a vast intellect, he pioneered many of the wonders that persist in the world that lingered long after he was banished. Nearly every fragment of medical, economic and technological progress that the mortal races enjoyed could be traced back to him. But with his wonders came cruelty beyond measure: industrialized slavery, horrifying experimentations and a rage that would eventually force the world to bow to him.

Now, as Khoth-Kapira stirs the world begins to shudder with disasters yet to come.The epicenter is the city of Cier’Djaal. A religious war between two unstoppable military juggernauts begins to brew. The racial fury among many peoples of the world is about to explode. Demons begin to pour from the shadows at the head of a vicious cult worshipping dark powers.

And Lenk finds himself in the middle once more, his fate and the fate of Khoth-Kapira interlinked as the demon attempts to convince him of his earnestness.

Also, I really like the new approach to the artwork – before, the character-based pieces were a little weird. Eye-catching, sure, but not the best. This new cover is a little more vague, but I prefer it to the original style.

Also on CR: Interview with Sam Sykes, Post-Trilogy Catch-Up

Full disclosure: I have read an early draft of this novel. It was very good – tighter, funnier and all-round better written and constructed than the first two novels. Given that I thought they were very strong, too… Well, I’m very excited to read the final version.

Quick Q&A with SNORRI KRISTJANSSON

Here’s a quick interview with Snorri Kristjansson, author of Viking-tastic Swords of Good Men, which was published at the beginning of August, by Jo Fletcher Books…

Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Snorri Kristjansson?

Teacher, writer, lover of cake, mild-mannered Viking and all-round enthusiast.

Your latest novel, Swords of Good Men, was recently published by Jo Fletcher Books. How would you introduce the novel to a potential reader?

As a subversive, gritty, Grimdark-with-a-heart genre-buster, straddling the realms of Historical Fiction and Fantasy like a mythical God – or an action book with Vikings. Depends, really.

KristjanssonS-SwordsOfGoodMen

Is it part of a series?

It is indeed! Book 2 is currently finished and at the being-beaten-with-sticks-until-it-behaves stage. Work starts on Book 3 at the end of the month.

What inspired you to write the novel?

An abundance of time, a lack of employment and a couple of ridiculous coincidences.

And where do you draw your inspiration from in general?

All around. An awful lot goes in, gets mixed somewhere about an inch behind the right ear and comes back out in idea form. Some of them aren’t very good at all.

Why are Vikings so cool?

Big question. Short answer: A combination of beliefs, actions, ingenuity, style and individuality. Shorter answer: ’coz they are. Wanna fight?

How were you introduced to genre fiction?

We are all children of Tolkien, I suppose. Stacks of Raymond Feist and David Gemmell followed.

Kristjansson-FantasyIntro

How do you enjoy being a writer and working within the publishing industry?

It’s great. My publisher and her army of Book Ninjas are a terrifying joy to behold. 

Do you have any specific working, writing, researching practices?

I write well in cafés, but I haven’t had the luxury of establishing rituals yet. The time will come, though.

KristjanssonS-AuthorPicWhen did you realize you wanted to be an author, and what was your first foray into writing?

I’ve been writing for a long, long time, but never really viewed it as my Main Thing until relatively recently, when I totaled up the years and brain-miles spent doing text work of one sort or another.

Do you still look back on it fondly?

I’m not big on looking back, truth be told. I’m a forward kinda guy.

What’s your opinion of the genre today, and where do you see your work fitting into it?

The genre’s main problem is that there are way too many clever storytellers out there pumping out great and glorious work, and I don’t have the time to read it all. This is serious, so I would like fellow authors to be less awesome, thank you kindly.

What other projects are you working on, and what do you have currently in the pipeline?

The conclusion to the Valhalla Saga, an outline of another thing that I can’t speak about, a couple of film things with cool kids that I can also not speak about and various other things. This list might have been more interesting in mime.

Sykes-TomeOfTheUndergatesWhat are you reading at the moment (fiction, non-fiction)?

Tome of the Undrgates by Sam Sykes, which is great fun.

I completely agree! What’s something readers might be surprised to learn about you?

I have done a full 50 minute standup show on a warship.

What are you most looking forward to in the next twelve months?

Oh, that list is LONG, but right at this moment I’d say, “Not being in the state of moving house”, which will happen very soon. Oh, and cake.