Three Upcoming Gollancz Titles…

Culled from Amazon UK (I was searching for something else, found these), here are a few upcoming titles from Gollancz that I think look really interesting. No idea if the covers have been finalised, mind – I’m sure I’ll share the final ones if/when they change.

Lachlan-ValkyriesSongM.D. Lachlan, Valkyrie’s Song (March 2015)

The Harrowing has come to the North and a wolf that will kill a god is on the road…

That’s not the most enlightening of synopses, but I really enjoyed the first two novels in the series – I have somehow managed to bypass the third altogether (Lord of Slaughter). With this only out in March 2015, though, I have time to catch up.

If you like Norse mythology, supernatural twists on history, and excellent writing, then you really do need to try out Lachlan’s series. (Incidentally, Lachlan also writes as Marc Adler, whose Son of the Morning was published earlier this year.)

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Lloyd-2-OldMansGhostsUKTom Lloyd, Old Man’s Ghosts (March 2015)

Some men can never outrun their ghosts.

Enchei thought he’d found a home at last – a life of quiet obscurity far removed from the horror of his military days. After a decade in the Imperial City his mistakes have been few, but one has now returned to haunt him.

As Narin’s pregnant lover comes to term, life has never been so perilous. There couldn’t be a worse time for a nightmare to be unleashed on the Imperial City, but luck’s rarely been on Narin’s side.

Once, Enchei swore he’d take his own life rather than let his past catch up with him, but now it’s not just his own in the balance. Demons, rogue mages and vengeful noblemen haunt the city – and a man’s ghosts are always watching and waiting…

The sequel to Moon’s Artifice.

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Pinborough-StayWithMeSarah Pinborough, Stay With Me (February 2015)

The Death House is a home where, in a world where people are safe against illness, children and teenagers who are susceptible to terminal conditions are sent to die.

Their fates are certain. Their lives are in their hands. The question is: what will they choose to do with them?

Really enjoyed The Language of Dying, looking forward to reading more by the author. And I really like the understated design for the cover.

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Any of these catch your eye? Any others you’re looking forward to?

Upcoming: FIREFIGHT by Brandon Sanderson (Gollancz)

Sanderson-R2-FirefightUKI rather enjoyed Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheartthe first in the Reckoners series and also the first of the author’s novels that I’ve read. I stumbled across the UK cover for Firefight, the sequel, while researching something else. It’s a rather excellent cover, I think, and will sit very nicely alongside Steelheart and the novella Mitosis. Here’s the synopsis:

They told David it was impossible – that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart – invincible, immortal, unconquerable – is dead. And he died by David’s hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realise he has questions. Big ones. And there’s no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic – Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

Firefight is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz in January 2015. Here are the other two covers:

Sanderson-R-Steelheart&MitosisUK

Upcoming: MOCKINGJAY, Part 1 (Movie, Lionsgate)

The third (of four) Hunger Games movies. The trailer was unveiled today:

I rather enjoyed the first two movies, having not read Suzanne Collins’s novels. I intend to read Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, but I still haven’t decided if I want to do it before or after I’ve seen all the movies.

The Hunger Games trilogy is published by Scholastic.

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Willow Shields.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Screenplay: Danny Strong, Peter Craig.

Mockingjay-Part1-Poster

Upcoming Orbit Titles (Spring/Summer 2015)

Orbit unveiled the covers for their Spring/Summer 2015 releases today (US/UK – although, they’re mostly the same), and I thought I’d share some of the ones that caught my eye, here. I present them without commentary, but I will say the Peeler cover is rather eye-catching not only because of its bold colouring, but because it’s rather amusing.

Daniel Abraham, The Spider’s War (Dagger & Coin #5)

Abraham-D&C-5-TheSpidersWar

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James S.A. Corey, Nemesis Games (Expanse #5)

CoreyJSA-E5-NemesisGames

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N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season

Jemisin-FifthSeason

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze – the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years – collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

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Nicole Peeler, Jinn & Juice

PeelerN-Jinn&Juice

Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Leila nears the end of her servitude – only to be bound once again against her will. Will she risk all to be human?

Born in ancient Persia, Leila turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry – by cursing Leila to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself.

If she can remain unBound, Leila’s curse will soon be over. But Ozan Sawyer, a Magi with the ability to See, Call, and Bind jinn has other plans.

Oz needs Leila to help him penetrate Pittsburgh’s steel-soaked magic, a juice potent but poisonous to supernatural creatures, in order to find a missing girl with her own mysterious connection to Kouros. Unfortunately for Leila, becoming Bound to Oz may risk more than just her chance to be human once more – it could risk her very soul…

Jinn and Juice is the first in a new series by fantasy writer, Nicole Peeler, set in a world of immortal curses, powerful jinni and belly dancing.

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Kim Stanley Robinson, Aurora

RobinsonKS-Aurora

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Angus Watson, Clash of Iron (Iron Age #2)

WatsonA-2-ClashOfIron

LEADERS ARE FORGED IN THE FIRES OF WAR

Iron Age warriors Dug and Lowa captured Maidun castle and freed its slaves. But now they must defend it.

A Roman invasion is coming from Gaul, but rather than uniting to defend their home, the British tribes go to battle with each other – and see Maidun as an easy target.

Meanwhile, Lowa’s spies infiltrate Gaul, discovering the Romans have recruited British druids. And Maidunite Ragnall finds his loyalties torn when he meets Rome’s charismatic general, Julius Caesar.

War is coming. Who will pay its price?

Upcoming: THE SHOTGUN ARCANA by R.S. Belcher (Tor/Titan)

BelcherRS-ShotgunArcana

Two very cool, very different covers for R.S. Belcher’s follow-up to The Six-Gun Tarot. On the left, the US cover (Tor Books); and on the right, the UK cover (Titan Books). Here’s the US synopsis:

1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party… and the dawn of humanity.

Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day’s time, the town and its people will be tested as never before — and some of them will never be the same.

I really want to read this series. I have no idea why I haven’t done so yet… I shall make that a goal for the rest of 2014. Watch this space…

You can read an excerpt from The Shotgun Arcana over on Tor.com.

The first book in this series, The Six-Gun Tarot had equally interesting covers, but I must say in that case the UK cover was by far the best. Here’s the US and UK covers, side-by-side:

Belcher-SixGunTarot

Sebastian de Castell’s THE TRAITOR’S BLADE out in Paperback tomorrow! (Jo Fletcher Books)

deCastellS-GC1-TraitorsBladeEarlier this year (January), an advanced review copy of The Traitor’s Blade dropped through my mailbox. The debut fantasy novel by Sebastian de Castell, I was intrigued by the premise, which promised a mixture of swashbuckling action and adventure, sword-fights aplenty, and some intrigue and good storytelling. I was not at all disappointed. I blitzed through the novel. Here’s the main take-away from my review

“An all-round brilliant fantasy debut, and one of the best I’ve read in a decade… Every so often, a debut novel comes along that knocks your expectations out of the park. Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamorra is one of those novels. Peter V. Brett’s The Painted Man is another. Sebastien de Castell’s Traitor’s Blade needs to be added to that list. I loved this.”

Tomorrow, The Traitor’s Blade is published in paperback in the UK, and I highly recommend you pick it up, if you haven’t already. Here’s the synopsis…

Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters. All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission.

But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…

And, finally, you can read an interview with Sebastian de Castell, here. I really can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Long may Falcio et al find their adventures in print!

Trailer: AUTOMATA

Automata-Poster4-Crop

This movie looks really interesting – an examination of what it means to be alive, human. I haven’t looked into it too much (I don’t want to spoil the movie for when I inevitably go and see it), but with the mentions of the “laws” of robotics, I wonder if it’s based on Asimov’s fiction, or if it’s just offering an homage to the author’s pioneering writing? Anyway, here’s the trailer (shared from IGN’s YouTube channel)*…

Upcoming: Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman…

… this time, without gratuitous, ridiculous butt-graphics on the cover. In Edge of Spider-Verse #2, an alternative Marvel universe’s Gwen Stacy is New York’s spider-bitten protector. I don’t have a huge amount of interest in what is becoming an ever-more-complex web of Spider-Man-related series,* but the artwork by Robbi Rodriguez caught my eye. First, here’s the cover…

EdgeOfSpiderVerse-02

And second, a pair of interior pages. I rather like the hoody-outfit Stacy wears, and Rodriguez’s overall aesthetic and style is really interesting and eye-catching (I have no idea if there’s a proper term for this approach, so I won’t attempt to make one up)…

EdgeOfSpiderVerse-02-Preview3

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 is due to be published September 17th, 2014.

* Seriously, Marvel – not everything has to be cross-pollinated and crossed-over. It’s really damned annoying. Not to mention expensive. (OH! Of course! That’s why you do it…)

Upcoming: BELZHAR by Meg Wolitzer (Dutton)

WolitzerM-BelzharUSI’ve only read a little bit of Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings. While I thought it was very well written, it just wasn’t for me. Then I spotted this novel, which I thought sounded interesting. Here’s the synopsis:

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching  old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

Belzhar is due to be published in the US by Dutton (Penguin), on September 30th, 2014; and in the UK by Simon & Schuster, on October 9th (for some reason, I could not find a UK cover for the novel – given how close it is to publication, this is rather baffling).