Upcoming: “Extinction Game” by Gary Gibson (Tor)

GibsonG-ExtinctionGameAnother Science Fiction author whose work always sounds really interesting to me, but I have just never got around to reading. Not so long ago, Tor UK unveiled the artwork for Gary Gibson’s latest novel, Extinction Game (published in September). And it sounds pretty interesting, too. Here’s the synopsis…

Beche should be dead. But instead of dying alone, he’s been rescued from a desolated earth where he was the last man alive. He’s then trained for the toughest conditions imaginable and placed with a crack team of specialists.  Each one also a survivor, as each one survived the violent ending of their own versions of earth. And their specialism – to retrieve weapons and data in missions to other dying worlds. But who is the shadowy organization that rescued them?  How do they access other timelines and why do they need these instruments of death?

As Jerry struggles to obey his new masters, he starts distrusting his new companions. A strange bunch, their motivations are less than clear, and accidents start plaguing their missions. Jerry suspects that organisation is lying to them, and team members are spying on him.  As a dangerous situation spirals into fatal, who is an enemy and who can he really trust?

I’m rather looking forward to this, now.

Upcoming: “Vengeful Spirit” by Graham McNeill (Black Library)

McNeill-HH-VengefulSpiritI’ve already posted the full artwork for Graham McNeill’s next Horus Heresy novel, Vengeful Spirit. Now, however, I’ve managed to dig up a synopsis, which gives me another opportunity to feature it – I’m sure everyone who reads CR is fully aware of how much I enjoy the HH series of novels and short stories. So, without further ado…

On the planet of Molech, the Titan Legions go to war against the armies of Horus.

Once the favoured son of the Emperor of Mankind, the name of Horus has become a curse to the loyal defenders of the Imperium, and a rallying call to the traitor forces tearing across the galaxy. While their allies wage war on a thousand different fronts, the XVIth Legion descend upon the Knight World of Molech – home to House Devine and their feudal levies, and a principal seat of Imperial military power. Just what could have drawn Horus to attack such a strongly defended planet, and what might he be willing to sacrifice to fulfill his own dark destiny?

I’m still not 100% sure when this is going to be released – Amazon UK has September 2014 listed as publication, but Black Library often releases things a little earlier through their own store/website. So maybe a couple months earlier? Needless to say, whenever it’s available, I can’t wait to read it.

The Horus Heresy: Horus Rising, False Gods, Galaxy in Flames, Flight of the Eisenstein, Fulgrim, Descent of Angels, Legion, Battle for the Abyss, Mechanicum, Tales of Heresy, Fallen Angels, A Thousand Sons, Nemesis, The First Heretic, Prospero Burns, Age of Darkness, The Outcast Dead, Deliverance Lost, Know No Fear, The Primarchs, Fear to Tread, Shadows of Treachery, Angel Exterminatus, Betrayer, Mark of Calth, Promethean Sun, Scorched Earth, Vulkan Lives, Scars (episodes I-III, IV-IX, X-X11), The Unremembered Empire

Upcoming: “Gallow” Trilogy by Nathan Hawke (Gollancz)

HawkeN-Gallow1-CrimsonShieldI caught a tweet the other day from Gollancz’s publicist that copies of the first book in Nathan Hawke’s Gallow series had arrived in their office (oh, how they tease us bibliophiles…). Naturally, this made me seek out some more information about the series. It sounds pretty cool, too. The series is comprised of THE CRIMSON SHIELD, COLD REDEMPTION, and LAST BASTION, and will be published in July, August, and September (respectively). I do like it when publishers release series in quick succession…

Here’s the first synopsis…

I have been Truesword to my friends, Griefbringer to my enemies. To most of you I am just another Northlander bastard here to take your women and drink your mead, but to those who know me, my name is Gallow. I fought for my king for seven long years. I have served lords and held my shield beside common men. I have fled in defeat and I have tasted victory and I will tell you which is sweeter. Despise me then, for I have slain more of your kin than I can count, though I remember every single face.

For my king I will travel to the end of the world. I will find the fabled Crimson Shield so that his legions may carry it to battle, and when Sword and Shield must finally clash, there you will find me. I will not make pacts with devils or bargains with demons for I do not believe in such things, and yet I will see them all around me, in men and in their deeds. Remember me then, for I will not suffer such monsters to live.

Even if they are the ones I serve.

The one thing I’m not sure about is whether or not this is fantasy or historical, or a blend of the two… Nevertheless, this sounds pretty interesting. I’ll try to get my hands on the books to review on the site. Between these and Snorri Kristjansson’s Swords of Good Men, I may come over all Viking this summer…

Here are the other two covers (all three were done by Alejandro Colucci):

Hawke-Gallow2&3

Here’s the synopsis for book two, as well (still waiting for the third synopsis to surface on the internets…):

I fought against your people, and I have fought for them. I have killed, and I have murdered. I betrayed my kin and crippled my king. I led countless warriors to their deaths and fought to save one worthless life. I have stood against monsters and men and I cannot always tell the difference.

Fate carried me away from your lands, from the woman and the family I love. Three hellish years but now, finally, I may return. I hope I will find them waiting for me. I hope they will remember me while all others forget. Let my own people believe me dead, lest they hunt me down. Let me return in the dark and in the shadows so no one will know.

But hope is rare and fate is cruel. And if I have to, I will fight.

Upcoming: “Jupiter War” by Neal Asher (Tor)

AsherN-O3-JupiterWarUKThe highly-anticipated third book in Neal Asher’s Owner Trilogy

Alan Saul is now part-human and part-machine, and our solar system isn’t big enough to hold him. He craves the stars, but can’t leave yet. His sister Var is trapped on Mars, on the wrong side of a rebellion, and Saul’s human side won’t let her die. He must leave Argus Station to stage a dangerous rescue – but mutiny is brewing onboard, as Saul’s robots make his crew feel increasingly redundant. Serene Galahad will do anything to prevent Saul’s escape. Earth’s ruthless dictator hides her crimes from a cowed populace as she readies new warships for pursuit. She aims to crush her enemy in a terrifying display of interstellar violence. Meanwhile, The Scourge limps back to earth, its crew slaughtered, its mission to annihilate Saul a disaster. There are survivors, but while one seeks Galahad’s death, Clay Ruger will negotiate for his life. Events build to a climax as Ruger holds humanity’s greatest prize – seeds to rebuild a dying Earth. This stolen gene-bank data will come at a price, but what will Galahad pay for humanity’s future?

Jupiter War will be published by Tor UK, on September 26th, 2013.

Upcoming: “THE ACE OF SKULLS” by Chris Wooding (Gollancz)

WoodingC-AceOfSkullsOne of my most-anticipated novels of the year, The Ace of Skulls is the final planned installment in Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay series. I loved the first two books in the series – Retribution Falls and The Black Lung Captain – but have been reprehensibly slow about reading The Iron Jackal (which I have on my Kindle – I fear an out-of-sight-out-of-mind Kindle victim, here…).

I’ll endeavor to get caught up with the third novel before this one comes out, though. It’s a great, fun, and very well-plotted and -written sci-fi Western(-ish) adventure. Here’s the synopsis…

All good things come to an end. And this is it: the last stand of the Ketty Jay and her intrepid crew.

They’ve been shot down, set up, double-crossed and ripped off. They’ve stolen priceless treasures, destroyed a ten-thousand-year-old Azryx city and sort-of-accidentally blew up the son of the Archduke. Now they’ve gone and started a civil war. This time, they’re really in trouble.

As Vardia descends into chaos, Captain Frey is doing his best to keep his crew out of it. He’s got his mind on other things, not least the fate of Trinica Dracken. But wars have a way of dragging people in, and sooner or later they’re going to have to pick a side. It’s a choice they’ll be staking their lives on. Cities fall and daemons rise. Old secrets are uncovered and new threats revealed.

When the smoke clears, who will be left standing?

The Ace of Skulls is published by Gollancz in the UK on September 19th, 2013. Really can’t wait to read this one.

Wooding-KettyJay-1to3

Covers of the First Three Ketty Jay Novels

Upcoming: “Riyria Chronicles” by Michael Sullivan (Orbit)

Later this year, Orbit are publishing two more novels set in Michael Sullivan’s Riyria fantasy world. The two books are set before Theft of Swords and the Riyria Revelations series, but do not have to be read first – they fill in some details that are alluded to in the first series (which also includes Rise of Empire and Heir of Novron).

Sullivan-RiyriaChronicles

First up is The Crown Tower, which chronicles Royce and Hadrian’s first job together:

Two men who hate each other. One impossible mission. A Legend in the making.

A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadias can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.

And secondly, The Rose and the Thorn, in which we see the soon-to-be-legendary “Riyria” starting to take shape:

Two thieves want answers. Riyria is born.

For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception – Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn’t realize is what the two are capable of – but she’s about to find out.

The Crown Tower will be published in August 2013, with The Rose and the Thorn following in September 2013. I’m really looking forward to these.

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Riyria Revelations: The Viscount and the Witch, Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire, Heir of Novron

Also on CR: Interview with Michael Sullivan, Guest Post (Heroic vs. Gritty Fantasy)