New Books (January)

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The year’s flood of interesting new and upcoming releases continues! Most of these are high on my must-read (mental) list. Some of these are also not out for a very long time, so reviews won’t appear for a few months. Nevertheless, worth mentioning to whet others’ appetites for the year ahead’s biblio-offerings…

Featuring: Jami Attenberg, Paul Auster, David Bishop, JoAnn Chaney, Andy Clark, John Connolly, Liv Constantine, Ben Counter, Paul Crilley, Rene Denfeld, Alice Feeney, Neil Gaiman, Max Gladstone, L.J. Goulding, Jean Hanff Korelitz, Anthony Horowitz, Danya Kukafka, Victor LaValle, Mark Lawrence, Norman Ohler, B.A. Paris, Sarah Pinborough, Alastair Reynolds, Michael Rubens, Kieran Shea, Jon Skovron, Brian Staveley, James Swallow, Martha Wells

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Upcoming in 2017… St. Martin’s Press, Flatiron Books, Minotaur (Macmillan)

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Here is a small selection of anticipated novels coming from St. Martin’s Press, Thomas Dunne Books, Flatiron Books, and a couple other Macmillan imprints. (I’d recommend checking out their non-fiction lists, too. They have a great, broad range of books on the way.)

Featuring: Brad Abraham, Charles Cumming, Anthony Franze, Grant Ginder, Lee Matthew Goldberg, Christopher Golden, Jack Grimwood, Joseph Helmreich, Jay Hosking, Robert Kroese, Liza Palmer, Sarah Pinborough, M.L. Rio, Ben Sanders, Graeme Simsion, Kimberley Tait, Rio Youers

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Review: 13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)

PinboroughS-13MinutesUKAn excellent new thriller from one of Britain’s best authors

Natasha was dead for 13 minutes. And it changed her world completely…

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this — it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough is a gripping psychological thriller about people, fears, manuiplation and the power of the truth. A stunning read, it questions our relationships — and what we really know about the people closest to us…

Sarah Pinborough’s latest thriller is both an excellent thriller and an insightful examination of what it means to be a teenager in the social media age. It blends these two facets together perfectly, creating one of the first must-read novels of the year. Continue reading

New Year, New Books… (Dec/Jan)

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Featuring: Megan Abbott, Kate Atkinson, John Ayliff, Elizabeth Brundage, M.R. Carey, Mike Carey, Linda Carey, Louise Carey, John Connolly, A.M. Dellamonica, Tim Federle, Patrick Gale, Addison Gunn, Antonia Hayes, Jeff Mariotte, K.S. Merbeth, Maggie Mitchell, Sarah Pinborough, Jennifer Ridyard, Marsheila Rockwell, James Rollins, Lilith Saintcrow, Emily Schultz, Peter Tieryas

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Upcoming from Titan Books…

Titan Books has really become a powerhouse SFF publisher in the last few years — they’re publishing some fantastic authors (on both sides of the Atlantic), and seem to just be growing and growing. Here are some titles (in alphabetical order) on the horizon that I think are interesting — I’ve indicated if/when they are US or UK only, otherwise they’re both. There are so many coming, too, that this is not an exhaustive list.

AkersT-1-PaganNightTim Akers, PAGAN NIGHT (January 2016)

Ruling with an iron hand, the Church has eliminated the ancient pagan ways. Yet demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the Inquisition, while age-old hatreds rage between the north and the south. Three heroes — Malcolm and Ian Blakeley and Gwendolyn Adair — must end the bloodshed before chaos is unleashed.

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CartmelA-VD1-VinylDetectiveUKAndrew Cartmel, THE VINYLE DETECTIVE (May 2016)

He is a record collector — a connoisseur of vinyl, hunting out rare and elusive LPs. His business card describes him as the “Vinyl Detective” and some people take this more literally than others.

Like the beautiful, mysterious woman who wants to pay him a large sum of money to find a priceless lost recording — on behalf of an extremely wealthy (and rather sinister) shadowy client. 

Given that he’s just about to run out of cat biscuits, this gets our hero’s full attention. So begins a painful and dangerous odyssey in search of the rarest jazz record of them all…

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HoughJM-ZeroWorldUKJason M. Hough, ZERO WORLD (August 2015)

Technologically enhanced assassin Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike anything he’s ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew — save one. Peter’s mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the very fabric of space, emerging into an even more confounding reality: a world that appears to be Earth’s twin.

Published in North America by Del Rey.

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Victor Gischler, GESTAPO MARS (September 2016)

GischlerV-1-GestapoMars

The first in a new series, there’s no synopsis available, yet. More to come. I love the cover, and I’ve enjoyed some Gischeler’s comics work in the past.

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Human-KillBaxterUSCharlie Human, KILL BAXTER (November 2015, US)

AND HE THOUGHT THE HARD PART WAS OVER…

The world has been massively unappreciative of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko. His bloodline may be a combination of ancient Boer mystic and giant shape-shifting crow, and he may have won an inter-dimensional battle and saved the world, but does anyone care? No.

Instead he’s packed off to Hexpoort, a magical training school that’s part reformatory, part military school, and just like Hogwarts (except with sex, drugs, and better internet access). The problem is that Baxter sucks at magic. He’s also desperately attempting to control his new ability to dreamwalk, all the while being singled out by the school’s resident bully, who just so happens to be the Chosen One.

But when the school comes under attack, Baxter needs to forget all that and step into action. The only way is joining forces with his favourite recovering alcoholic of a supernatural bounty hunter, Ronin, to try and save the world from the apocalypse. Again.

Published in the UK by Century/Arrow. (Synopsis above from UK edition.)

Publisher Pages: APOCALYPSE NOW NOW and KILL BAXTER

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Michael Kurland, ALEXANDER BRASS MYSTERIES series (November 2015-February 2016)

KurlandM-AlexanderBrassMystery1&2UK

A witty and atmospheric 1930s New York mystery series, following the adventures of Morgan DeWitt and his mentor, columnist extraordinaire, Alexander Brass

Nefarious doings among movers and shakers in Depression-era New York City animate a lively chase for a story-and a murderer-for newspaper nightclub columnist Alexander Brass. It all begins when a furtive tipster promises an explosive story and gives Brass an envelope filled with photographs of several powerful people caught in compromising sexual positions. Intrigued, Brass sends a newspaper stringer to follow the mystery man. When the stringer is murdered, Brass and his team resolve to find the killer, running the gauntlet of blackmailing Nazis, accommodating nymphomaniacs and US senators on the way.

Publisher Pages: TOO SOON DEAD, THE GIRLS IN THE HIGH-HEELED SHOES

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LeslieB-DC1-CrackedUKBarbara Leslie, CRACKED (November 2015)

Danielle Cleary is a nice middle-class girl with a bad habit. After her stormy marriage to the love of her life ends, the former personal trainer and amateur fighter jumps down the rabbit hole into a world of crack cocaine — delivered to her door by a polite but slightly deranged dealer – and endless game shows, with her best friend Gene. But when Danny’s twin sister Ginger is murdered, Danny and her rock musician brother fly to California to find their nephews – and the people who killed their sister. Fighting withdrawal, nosy cops and crazy drug dealers, she kicks ass and takes names, embracing her inner vigilante in a quest to avenge her sister and save her family.

Cracked is a darkly comic roller-coaster ride to redemption.  From the streets of Toronto to the underbelly of Orange County; from private jets to the depths of the Maine wilderness, Danny struggles with bad guys and her own demons to find the killers.

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MarmellA-MO2-HallowPointUK-SmallAri Marmell, HALLOW POINT (August 2015)

Mick Oberon may look like just another 1930s private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he’s got pointy ears and he’s packing a wand. The Spear of Lugh is in Chicago. And everyone, everyone wants it, for it is said that he who carries the spear into battle cannot be defeated. Those chasing it include an agent of the infamous Wild Hunt; a mobster who knows far more about these things than he should; and of course both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts—the very last people PI Mick Oberon would want getting hold of the spear…

Publisher Pages: HOT LEAD, COLD IRON and HALLOW POINT

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MorrisM-OH2-SocietyOfBloodUKMark Morris, SOCIETY OF BLOOD (October)

Transported through time to the dank streets of Victorian London, Alex Locke seeks to unravel the mysteries of the Obsidian Heart, the enigmatic object to which his fate is inextricably bound.

When a string of grisly murders takes place across the capital, Alex follows a trail that will lead him through the opium dens of Limehouse into the dark and twisted world of the Society of Blood, and ever closer to unlocking the secret of the Heart.

Publisher Pages: WOLVES OF LONDON and SOCIETY OF BLOOD

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NewmanK-SecretsOfDrearcliffGrangeSchoolKim Newman, THE SECRETS OF DEARCLIFF GRANGE SCHOOL (October 2015)

A week after Mother found her sleeping on the ceiling, Amy Thomsett is delivered to her new school, Drearcliff Grange in Somerset. Although it looks like a regular boarding school, Amy learns that Drearcliff girls are special, the daughters of criminal masterminds, outlaw scientists and master magicians. Several of the pupils also have special gifts like Amy’s, and when one of the girls in her dormitory is abducted by a mysterious group in black hoods, Amy forms a secret, superpowered society called the Moth Club to rescue their friend. They soon discover that the Hooded Conspiracy runs through the School, and it’s up to the Moth Club to get to the heart of it.

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PinboroughS-DeathHouseUSSarah Pinborough, THE DEATH HOUSE (September 2015, US)

Toby’s life was perfectly normal… until it was unravelled by something as simple as a blood test.

Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House; an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They’re looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it’s time to take them to the sanatorium.

No one returns from the sanatorium.

Living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes.

Because everybody dies. It’s how you choose to live that counts.

Published in the UK by Gollancz.

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SnodgrassM-E3-EdgeOfDawnUKMelinda Snodgrass, EDGE OF DAWN (August 2015, UK)

The final battle approaches for a band of modern paladins, fighting for the light of science and reason, and against an ancient supernatural army poised to destroy the world.

What do you do when the Earth is under assault from monstrous creatures by alternate dimensions and you’re the only person who can wield the weapon that can destroy them? That’s the situation facing Richard Oort, hero of the Edge novels. 

Lonely and overwhelmed after a series of terrifying, catastrophic global and personal events, Richard is still determined to save the world from the horrific Old Ones. He goes undercover in a Christian fundamentalist compound, playing house with an attractive FBI agent. At first, this only serves to increase his loneliness, missing his real family, but against all odds discovers another unique human who can use the paladin’s weapon, one who might be able to join him and lighten the burden of responsibility. There’s only one problem — Mosi is a nine-year-old Navajo girl.

Their enemies are trying to kill both Richard and Mosi — and have already killed Mosi’s family. To keep her safe Richard becomes her guardian, but an error in judgement leads to disaster and betrayal, and now the odd pair will need to summon all their strength to survive the coming battle. From the American southwest to a secret society in Turkey, the paladin and his ward try to stay in front of their enemies, but the world is at stake — and time is running short.

Published in North America by Tor Books.

Publisher Pages: EDGE OF REASON, EDGE OF RUIN, EDGE OF DAWN

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WongD-FuturisticViolence&FancySuitsUKDavid Wong, FUTURISTIC VIOLENCE AND FANCY SUITS (October 2015, UK)

In a prosperous yet gruesomely violent near-future, superhero vigilantes battle thugs whose heads are full of supervillain fantasies. The peace is kept by a team of smooth, well-dressed negotiators called The Men in Fancy Suits. Meanwhile a young girl is caught in the middle, and thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.

Zoey, a recent college graduate with a worthless degree, makes a reluctant trip into the city after hearing that her estranged con artist father had died in a mysterious yet spectacular way. There she finds that her scumbag dad had actually, in the final years of his life, put his amazing talent for hustling to good use: He was one of the founding members of the Fancy Suits, and died in the course of his duties.

Zoey is quickly entangled in the city’s surreal mob war when she is taken hostage by a particularly crazy villain who imagines himself to be a Dr. Doom-level mastermind. The villain is demanding information about Zoe’s father when she is rescued by The Fancy Suits. She reluctantly joins their cause and help finish what her old man started, tapping into her innate talent for bullshit that she inherited from her hated father. And along the way, she might just have to learn how to trust people again.

Published in North America by Thomas Dunne Books.

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WoodJ-BrokenHeroJonathan Wood, BROKEN HERO (January 2016)

Arthur Wallace and the MI37 team confront their complex personal relationships as well as robots originally created to aid the Nazi’s invasion of Russia, leading to a trip for the team to the Himalayas, which takes them to a Nepalese death cult, then back to London for the final assault – amidst assorted relationship break-ups, hangovers and pregnancy scares…

Publisher Pages: NO HERO, YESTERDAY’S HERO, ANTI-HERO, BROKEN HERO

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Books Make the Best Gifts… (& Giveaway)

No, really. Hear me out. “Duh” is the most appropriate answer to the question “Are books the best gifts?” However, that makes for a rather short blog post. So, here are eight quick reasons why books make the best gifts (in no particular order), from the serious to the whimsical…

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Upcoming: Sarah Pinborough’s FAIRY TALES Trilogy (Titan US)

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I am a big fan of Sarah Pinborough‘s writing — especially the upcoming The Death House (Gollancz), The Language of Dying and Mayhem (Jo Fletcher Books). Already available in the UK, Pinborough’s Fairy Tales trilogy of updated, alternative interpretations of classic stories — PoisonCharm and Beauty — will be published in the US by Titan Books. The books will be published over three months, March-May 2015. Very few details available at the moment on Titan’s US website, but Poison is a retelling of the Snow White tale, Charm is a retelling of Cinderella, and Beauty a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

I quite like the new US covers — quite different from the original UK hardback and paperback covers (published by Gollancz):

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