Monday 31 March 2014

Rock, Paper, Cynic Webcomic and ChiZine Publications Team Up

The press release:

Rock, Paper, Cynic and ChiZine enter co-operative agreement

TORONTO, Ontario (March 30, 2014) — ChiZine Publications (CZP) and popular webcomic Rock, Paper, Cynic (RPC) are pleased to announce a cooperative venture. RPC is now an imprint of ChiZine Publications, an internationally acclaimed press.

Rock, Paper, Cynic was started by Peter Chiykowski, a Toronto-based cartoonist, as an online webcomic. The comic’s focus is “celebrating things that make the world weird and exciting, and poking fun at things that bring people down.” With its growing reach and popularity, including being shared by “geek” icons such as George Takei and Nathan Fillion, RPC began publishing chapbooks and mini-posters.

By becoming an imprint of ChiZine Publications, Rock, Paper, Cynic will be available through ChiZine Publications’ distribution channels: Harper Collins in Canada and Diamond Book Distributors internationally. As well, Rock, Paper Cynic’s titles will be featured in the CZP catalogue.

Under the terms of the agreement, Chiykowski will retain creative control over Rock, Paper, Cynic.

“We’re known for being a ‘dark’ publisher, but we’ve done some satire and humour in the past. Rock, Paper, Cynic brings the same thought-provoking quality as our titles,” says Sandra Kasturi, co-publisher of ChiZine Publications. “We’ve always thought Peter’s work was smart, hilarious and odd—and hope that through our distribution channels he can reach an even wider (and weirder!) audience.”

“ChiZine’s readers recognize something strange and wonderful when they see it,” adds Chiykowski. “I think that they’re going to get a kick out of Rock, Paper, Cynic.”

Rock, Paper Cynic’s latest book, The H.M.S. Bad Idea, will be published in mid-November.The H.M.S. Bad Idea will be an anthology of geeky comics about bad ideas, lost causes and “choosing ‘awesome’ over ‘right.’” It will be the first Rock, Paper, Cynic title published under the agreement.

Books Received in March, 2014 part 2

Zita the Spacegirl Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, and The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke - A young girl in space?  Being a hero?  Sign me up!  These graphic novels look so cute, and it's great to see more children's SF being published.  The series is rated for age 8 and up.

Zita's life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of an eye.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don't even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita's quest.

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at.
Reflected by Rhiannon Held - Third in her werewolf series, I'm quoting the synopsis of the first book to avoid spoilers.

Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He's the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke's territory. But the lone Were he's tracking doesn't smell or act like anyone he's ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn't get any better. She's beautiful, she's crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she's lost her wild self and can't shift any more. 
The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent. 
Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each other.

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Martin - I loved her Chronicles of the Necromancer fantasy series (even though I've not had time to finish it yet), so while I'm not a huge fan of urban fantasy, I'm curious to see what she does with the genre.

Cassidy Kincaide owns Trifles & Folly, an antique/curio store and high-end pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina that is more than what it seems. Dangerous magical and supernatural items sometimes find their way into mortal hands or onto the market, and Cassidy is part of a shadowy Alliance of mortals and mages whose job it is to take those deadly curiosities out of circulation.
Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670-acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It's the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it's time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.

The Wicked by Douglas Nicholas - A follow-up to last year's Medieval fantasy, Something Red.

In an intoxicating blend of fantasy and horror, acclaimed debut novel Something Red transports you to the harsh, unforgiving world of thirteenth-century England. An evil and age-old force stalks the countryside-who dares confront it?

The Judge of Ages by John Wright - Third in this space opera, here's the synopsis for book one, Count to a Trillion.

After the collapse of the world economy, a young boy grows up in what used to be Texas as a tough duellist for hire, the future equivalent of a hired gun. But even after the collapse, there is space travel, and he leaves Earth to have adventures in the really wide open spaces. But he is quickly catapulted into the more distant future, while humanity, and Artificial Intelligence, grows and changes and becomes a kind of superman.

Sunday 30 March 2014

Books Received in March, 2014 part 1

March was a very busy month for me as the World's Biggest Bookstore closed its doors.  I worked extra during this crazy time at the store, as well as prepared to say goodbye to people I've worked with for 10 years.  I got a lot of reading done, despite all that - including quite a few history books from the library - and from the looks of the pile of books I got this month, I'll be doing a lot of reading in April too.  :)

The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley - I've already read and reviewed this book, finding it quite refreshing and well written.

In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing--and risk everything--to see that justice is meted out.

Psychomania: Killer Stories Edited by Stephen Jones - I've also read and reviewed this collection of creepy stories.

When journalist Robert Stanhope arrives at the Crowsmoor asylum for the criminally insane to interview the institutes enigmatic director, Dr. Lionel Parrish, little does he realize that an apparently simple series of tests will lead him into a terrifying world of murder and insanity…
In this chilling new anthology, compiled by multiple award-winning editor Stephen Jones, some of the biggest and brightest names in horror and crime fiction come together to bring you twisted tales of psychos, schizoids, and serial killers with occasional supernatural twists.
Reggie Oliver revives Edgar Allan Poe's wily French detective C. Auguste Dupin, and there is a new story from the popular British mystery series, “"Bryant & May" by Christopher Fowler. Internationally best-selling author Michael Marshall also contributes to this collection with the return of The Straw Men conspiracy.
An original wraparound sequence in the style of John Llewellyn Probert sets the tone for this dark collection of stories, as well as a hitherto unpublished introduction by Robert Bloch, author of Psycho and the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's famous film.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey - I've heard a lot of good things about this book, which comes out in June. I'm planning to get to this soon.

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don''t like her. She jokes that she won''t bite, but they don''t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children''s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she''ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn''t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

Talus and the Frozen King by Graham Edwards - I'm currently reading this book, which basically sets Sherlock Holmes in a primitive Northern village.

Meet Talus - the world's first detective.
A dead warrior king frozen in winter ice. Six grieving sons, each with his own reason to kill. Two weary travellers caught up in a web of suspicion and deceit.

In a distant time long before our own, wandering bard Talus and his companion Bran journey to the island realm of Creyak, where the king has been murdered. From clues scattered among the island's mysterious barrows and stone circles, they begin their search for his killer. But do the answers lie in this world or the next?

Nobody is above suspicion, from the king's heir to the tribal shaman, from the servant woman steeped in herb-lore to the visiting warlord whose unexpected arrival throws the whole tribe into confusion. And when death strikes again, Talus and Bran realise nothing is what it seems.

Creyak is place of secrets and spirits, mystery and myth. It will take a clever man indeed to unravel the truth. The kind of man this ancient world has not seen before.

Shout-Out: Deadroads by Robin Riopelle

Coming April 15th.

Lutie always wanted a pet ghost —but the devil's in the details.
The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed —or cursed—with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.
But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a traveling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory sprites, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons, —small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.
From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Deadroads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Names and Covers

This post is me speaking as a bookseller rather than a blogger.  If you're designing a book cover, make sure the author's name and the title are 1) easy to read and 2) easy to distinguish.

I was doing up my 'Upcoming SFF' post for May books and came across this title.

I remember this author's books at the store.  I remember thinking, for the longest time, that the title of the book was 'Nors', because that's what you could see from a distance.  Obviously, upon closer examination the title is The Whispering Muse, which means Nors is the author's name.  Only it's not.  The author's name is Sjon.  Now, the accent on the 'o' should probably have tipped me off that I was reading the letters upside down, but some languages accent below the letters, so I'm not entirely crazy for thinking my reading was correct.

The problem with this cover is that it's confusing.  It looks fabulous as an art piece, but as an informational statement about the book, it's fulfilling its purpose.

Again, speaking as a bookseller, you want people to quickly, easily be able to pick out your title and name from the cover.

Another thing to look out for is using a name in your title.  I can't tell you how often we found Jaqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs shelved under 'Dobbs'.  It's a VERY easy mistake to make when you've got a lot of work to do and not quite enough time.

Make your titles clear and put your name in a readable font.

This is equally important for ebooks, though shelving becomes less of a concern.  With small thumbnails to pick books from, making the fonts easy to read, and the title and author's name separated out clearly, is necessary.

End rant. :)

Friday 28 March 2014

Recommended Reading by Professionals... with Mark L. Van Name

In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven't received the recognition they deserve.

Today's recommendations are by Mark L. Van Name. The CEO of a marketing and technology assessment firm, Mark L. Van Name has written five Jon & Lobo SF novels (One Jump Ahead, Slanted Jack, Overthrowing Heaven, Children No More and No Going Back), numerous short stories, and edited three anthologies. He’s also a spoken word artist.

I debated for some time whether to use this opportunity to try to highlight forgotten gems or focus on new writers deserving of your time, but in the end I surrendered to my feelings and decided to highlight three writers whose work I am passionate about.
  1. Though he’s a New York Times bestselling writer whose works have won a slew of mystery awards, James Lee Burke is still not only underappreciated, but also underappreciated as a fantasist. His Dave Robicheaux series stands as one of the greatest achievements in series fiction and indeed in all of fiction. Though the books sit in the mystery sections of bookstores, Robicheaux’s views of the world and of time itself carry a distinctly fantastic tone, with the dead and the living sharing our existence, only the sheerest of curtains separating them. The books’ settings, particularly those in Louisiana, are at once both perfectly realized renderings of our very real world and landscapes as alien to most of us as the surface of any distant planet. His prose is a joy to read and lyrical beyond the abilities of all but the very best of us. You cannot go wrong reading any of these novels, though as you might expect I recommend starting with the first, The Neon Rain.
  2. Alfred Bester is a giant in our field, a man whose influence is hard to overstate and whose best works in the 1950s set a standard that few have surpassed. Ignore his comeback fiction and focus on his output from the fifties, and you will see a body of work that is stunning in its intensity and range—and that still holds up superbly, though much fiction from that period does not. His two major SF novels, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination, are amazing works that repay repeated re-reading. His short pieces from that decade are also consistently strong and often amazing. I’m not one of those people who believe there is anything we all must do to claim to be SF fans; if you think you are, you are. I do, though, feel that if you consider yourself any sort of fantasy or SF fan, there’s a good chance you’ll be glad you gave Bester your time.
  3. My understanding is that his works sell far better in the UK than in the US, and I admit to having no idea how well he does in Canada, but even if he’s topping the bestseller lists everywhere and lighting cigars with hundred-pound notes, Nick Harkaway deserves more success. His two novels, The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker, are amazing achievements, singular books unlike each other and distinctly different from anything else you’re likely to have read. I won’t try to summarize them, because no summary will do justice to either; I simply encourage you to give them a go. I will warn that for some readers I know, Harkaway’s work took a while to stick, but I believe you’ll find they are worth that initial investment. (I did not have that problem with either book; each charmed me right from the get-go.) Spend some time in one of Harkaway’s worlds, and our own reality will, when you return to it, vibrate with just that little bit of oddness that is part of the hangover we experience when we return from the very best fantasies.

Stay tuned for the next post where we get more reading recommendations!

Thursday 27 March 2014

Movie Review: The Croods

Directed by: Kirk De Micco, 2013

Pros: hilarious, quirky characters, unique critters

Cons: unrealistic geography

Teenaged Eep is tired of hiding in dark caves all the time with her family, putting her at odds with her change resistant father.  On an illicit trip outside the cave one night she encounters a stranger with lots of ideas and the ability to create fire.  He brings news that their world is being destroyed.  When the Crood family’s cave is crushed, they must all adapt on their search for a new home.

This is a kids film for adults who liked Shrek.  While there’s plenty of slapstick to keep the kids entertained, there’s also a lot of in-jokes for the parents (and non-parents) in the audience.  I found myself laughing for most of the film.

The characters are outrageously quirky, doing impossibly acrobatic things, falling from extreme heights without injury, etc.  The baby of the family is treated much like a dog, and runs like one too.  The dad hates his mother-in-law and keeps hoping she’ll die of natural (like dangerous animal) causes.  

There are a lot of fantastical creatures in the film, most of which are not cute and cuddly (though, like Guy’s sloth belt, there are some of those).

My husband didn’t like the unrealistic geography.  The characters are constantly falling down huge mountains and cliffs, while only once climbing up anything.

Honestly, this movie’s a lot of fun.  If the idea of crossing Shrek with The Flintstones interests you, pick this up.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Webseries: Caper

Caper is a webseries up on Geek and Sundry's youtube page.  The series is written by Amy Berg and Mike Sizemore and features 4 superhero roommates who decide to pull a heist against an evil mega corporation to help them pay rent.

The characters are quirky and all of the 'super' scenes are done as animation clips (which is a clever way of avoiding the cost of special effects).  There are also some famous SF actors making cameos.

Here's the first episode to get you started, and their playlist to help you continue.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Book Review: Psychomania: Killer Stories - Edited by Steven Jones

Pros: frame story that pulls the collection together, high quality writing, diverse stories

Cons: some of the stories were more interesting than others

The collection starts off with an introduction by Robert Block, author of Psycho, followed by a prologue by John Llewellyn Probert.  The prologue sets the theme and tone of the series, and gives it cohesion.  There are periodic brakes in the collection that returns the reader to the prologue’s scenario.  This is a great technique as it gives an inherent reason for the collection.  The book ends with short bylines for the contributing authors.  At the end of most of the bylines, is a paragraph or two explaining why the author wrote their story.

The quality of stories is consistently high.  My reviews of the stories are, of course, subjective.  I gave the scariest stories higher ratings as this is a horror anthology.  There’s a good variety of tales, and while most of the stories deal with psychotic murderers, there are a few that don’t.  

If you like stories of psychos, mysteries and / or scaring yourself, this is a fantastic collection.

***** Prologue, Casefiles & Epilogue by John Llewellyn Probert
A journalist goes for an interview with the head psychologist of a prison for the mentally insane, but before the interview, the psychologist insists on a quiz: to guess which case files he shares are true and which are false. - This is a frame story for the collection but has its own inner logic and conclusion.  I was impressed that the casefiles segments refered to the stories around them, giving a real sense of cohesion to the collection.

**** “I Tell You It’s Love” by Joe Lansdale
A sadomasochistic couple experience true bliss. - A creepy story about what people will do for those they love.

*** “The Green Hour” by Reggie Oliver 
Private detective Dupin is asked to help solve a series of murders associated with the Paris World’s Fair. - A classic ‘who done it’ with a few twists.  

***** “The Secret Laws of the Universe” by Steve Rasnic Tem 
Ed knows he can be more than he is, but not so long as his wife’s alive. - Ed’s casual attitude towards the talking inanimate objects and the deaths he causes is quite chilling.

***** “The Recompensing of Albano Pizar” by Basil Copper 
A literary agent treats the widow of one of his former clients badly, and faces her terrible vengeance. - Another creepy and well written story.  Reminded me of one of Poe’s stories.

**** “Night Soil Man” by David Sutton 
A workman tries to hide from a bad influence of his past - I liked the story but found the dialect hard to read. 

**** “Let My Smile Be Your Umbrella” Brian Hodge
The narrator has a one-sided discussion about an attempted suicide that should have succeeded. - An interesting story that deals with some deep issues.  I’m not sure I understood the ending.

***** “The Trembling Living Wire” by Scott Edelman
Iz is a music teacher who will go to any lengths to help his most promising students reach their full potential. - A fabulous story about obsession.

***** “The Undertaker’s Sideline” by Robert Silverberg
An undertaker has an unexpected side business. - Brilliantly creepy.

**** “The Long Shift” by Joel Lane
Jim’s going for revenge against the manager who belittled and forced numerous people out of their company. - Loved the ending.

**** “The Man Who Photographed Beardsley” by Brian Lumley
A dedicated artist creates modelled photographs out of famous drawings. - More description of Beardsley’s work would have been helpful for those unfamiliar with his work (like me), but it’s not necessary to get the gist of the story.

**** “Hollywood Hannah” by Lisa Morton
A producer’s intern gets more of an education on the movie industry than she expected. - An interesting story about how little acts can eventually corrupt.

**** “I Spy” by Paul McAuley
An abused kid looks for what’s special in himself.  - This was a sad, disturbing story.

*** “Reflections on the Critical Process” by Mike Carey
A book critic faces an author who is murderously unhappy by the review his gothic novel received. - While I enjoyed the critic’s sense of humour, the implausibility of the story made me lower its score.  At no point does the protagonist think of calling the cops for help.  It is, however, a true gothic tale.

**** “The Finger” by David Schow
A man watches in surprise as a finger bone he finds slowly grows into a monster. - The reasonable tone of the narrator somehow makes this story feel less horrific than it is.

***** “Hot Eyes, Cold Eyes” by Lawrence Block
An attractive woman, tired of the stares of men constantly following her, goes for a wild night on the town. - This story does a great job of showing the protagonist’s discomfort and has a great ending.

***1/2 “Hush… Hush, Sweet Shushie” by Jay Russell
A former child star’s wild ex-wife asks him for help. - An intriguing story with several flashbacks to flesh out the characters and situation. 

**** “The Gatecrasher” by R. Chetwynd-Hayes
A seance unleashes a spirit that possesses a man and makes him do terrible things. - It centres on a creepy premise that is skillfully told. 

**** “That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love” by Robert Shearman
Karen’s older brother Nicholas teaches her a ritual to perform on her dolls that affects her later in life. - A disturbing story with a sudden ending. 

***** “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
The narrator’s evil deed comes to haunt him. - A brilliant story.

**** “Got to Kill Them All” by Dennis Etchison
A game show host plans revenge on his cheating wife. - An interesting story with a chilling ending.

***** “Essence” by Mark Morris
A middle aged couple target a college girl at a pub. - A very disturbing story.

*** “The Beach” by Michael Kelly
A woman bemoans her loneliness and the loss of growing up. - A sad, somewhat bleak story.

**** “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” by Robert Bloch
Sir Guy Hollis asks a psychiatrist’s help in tracking down Jack the Ripper in 1945 Chicago. - I rather enjoyed this story, though I predicted the ending.  I should also point out that there is some now politically incorrect language used.

**** “See How They Run” by Ramsey Campbell
Mr. Foulsham is a juror at the trial of Mr. Fishwick. But his concerns about the case don’t end when the trial does. - A compelling read.

**** “Manners” by Conrad Williams
A man living on his own has an unusual diet. - The ambiguous ending allows for a few interpretations of what’s going on. (Though the author’s byline implies that the obvious ending is the correct one.)

***** “Bryant & May and the Seven Points” by Christopher Fowler
Two detectives investigate a side show for a missing spy. - A highly detailed story.  Easily solved, but intriguing nonetheless. 

*** “All the Birds Come Home to Roost” by Harlan Ellison
Michael Kirxby laments his past relationships, before his former lovers, inexplicably, start looking him up again. - A strange but interesting story that ends too soon.

***** “Wide-Shining Light” by Rio Youers
After separating from his wife, Martin attends a school reunion and meets up with his old best friend, Richard, who helps him get back on his feet in return for a favour later on. - A complex story with a satisfying conclusion.   

***** “Feminine Endings” by Neil Gaiman
A man’s love letter to his beloved. - A creepy story with a fantastic ending.

***** “Eater” by Peter Crowther
It’s nighttime at a precinct where three guards are watching a serial killer who ate his victims. - This is a terrifying story.

**** “Mister Mellor Comes to Wyside” by Peter Crowther
Mr Mellor visits a new town. - A continuation of the previous story, with equally horrific connotations.

***** “Failure” by Michael Marshall
A man suspects that his son has taken a wrong turn in life regarding his treatment of women. - Fantastic plot with a great ending.

*** “The Only Ending We Have” by Kim Newman
The shower scene stand in for Hitchcock’s Psycho flees the studio with something precious. - An unsettling story with parallels to Psycho.

**** “Kriss Kross Applesauce” by Richard Christian Matheson

Mrs. Harris writes her annual Christmas letter. - The story’s short but packs quite a punch.

Movie Trailer: X-Men Days of Future Past

Days of Future Past and Days of Future Present are two of my favourite X-Men storylines.  I've been hesitant about this film because they're stories I really love and I don't want to see them done badly.  But this trailer looks amazing.  So I've got high hopes again.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Shout-Out: New Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

Sergei Lukyanenko's Watch series is one of the first urban fantasy series I read, and it remains one of my favourites, even though I've not had time to read the fourth book (Last Watch) patiently waiting on my shelf.  Starting with Night Watch, they should be read in order, as some aspects carry on to the following books.

I saw last year that there was a new book, but it was only available in English in the UK.  Well, in April it's coming out in North America, so I'll finally have to read book 4 so I can get to book 5.  If you like dark stories with a Russian setting, give these a try.

Walking the streets of our cities are the Others. These men and women are guardians of the Twilight, a shadowy parallel world that exists alongside our own. Each has sworn allegiance to one side, fighting for the Light, or the Darkness. But now, beyond the continuing struggle comes a peril that threatens their very world. . .
At Moscow airport, Higher Light Magician Anton Gorodetsky overhears a child screaming that a plane is about to crash. He discovers that the child is a prophet: an Other with the gift of foretelling the future. When the catastrophe is averted, Gorodetsky senses a disruption in the natural order, one that is confirmed by the arrival of a dark and terrifying predator.
From the Night Watch headquarters Gorodetsky travels to London, to Taiwan and across Russia in search of clues, unearthing as he goes a series of increasingly cataclysmic prophecies. He soon realizes that what is at stake is the existence of the Twilight itself--and that only he will be able to save it.

Friday 21 March 2014

Recommended Reading by Professionals... with Kristen from Fantasy Cafe

In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven't received the recognition they deserve.

Today's recommendations are by Kristen, who blogs at Fantasy Cafe. I've been a huge fan of her site since before her amazing Women in SF & F Month in April of 2012.  The reception for the series was so good she repeated it in 2013 and has just announced that she'll be doing it again this year.   If you’re interested in seeing all the wonderful posts she gathered for her series, here are the link lists for 2012: week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5 and final thoughts; 2013: week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5 and final thoughts. She also did a round-up of book lists featuring female authors. Her ‘Leaning Pile of Books’ feature is a great place to learn about new titles and she’s constantly posting new book reviews. She also does author interviews and hosts guest posts.

It was difficult to choose only three books that do not receive the amount of recognition I believe they deserve—there are so many to choose from! In the end, I went with three of my favorites that are not exactly unknown but are not read and discussed as much as I think they deserve. I also liked that this worked out to include one fantasy, one science fiction, and one young adult speculative fiction book.
  1. Transformation by Carol Berg is one of those rare books that captivated me from the very first sentence and kept me riveted until the very end. The magical aspects are unique, and I found the way they were expanded upon over the course of the trilogy well developed and surprising—but the first book remains my favorite because the slowly developing friendship between arrogant Prince Aleksander and his slave Seyonne was so gripping. This was my first experience reading one of Carol Berg’s books, and all of her books I’ve read have wonderfully developed characters, but Aleksander and Seyonne are the two I remember most fondly.
  2. Warchild by Karin Lowachee is another one of those extraordinary books that made me care from the very beginning and left me truly sad when I reached the end and had no more pages left to read. The powerful second person account of the pirate attack on eight-year-old Jos’s spaceship is personal and terrifying and is one of the best openings I have ever read, both action-packed and intensely emotional. Jos came to life as a character, and I actually missed him once I finished reading the book. This book is a fairly recent discovery for me—I haven’t even read the next two yet!—but it is one of my favorite books in the world.
  3. I was thrilled to see Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone well-received, but I still do not see her previous books mentioned that often. That’s a shame because they are also wonderful, and I particularly love Lips Touch: Three Times, a book containing three exquisitely written stories. Laini Taylor writes like nobody else, and her prose particularly sparkles in this collection. “Spicy Little Curses Such As These” is a beautifully written feat of storytelling, but my favorite story is “Hatchling.” It drew me in with its creepy opening, in which Esme awakens to discover that she has both an eye and memories that are not her own. It’s delightfully dark, and if I hadn’t already been convinced that Laini Taylor was a master storyteller and wordsmith by that point, this story would have done just that.
Stay tuned for the next post where we get more reading recommendations!

Thursday 20 March 2014

Book Review: Early Medieval Spain: Unity in Diversity, 400-1000, 2nd Edition By: Roger Collins

Pros: gives necessary background information, details available primary sources as well as what cautions need to be taken when using them, highly detailed information

Cons: you have to pay CLOSE attention or you’ll find yourself rereading pages to understand what’s going on

This is a fantastic history book describing Medieval Spain from 400 to 1000 CE.  Published in 1995, it’s an update of a book that came out originally in 1983.  While there has most likely been new discoveries that aren’t covered here, the breadth of the information and the amount of detail is still useful for anyone wishing to read up on an often ignored period and place.  Collins also mentions many controversies regarding primary sources and their interpretations, which afford the reader a glimpse of the deeper challenges involved in researching times wherein primary sources are scarce.

In order to give a complete picture of Spain during this time, the author starts with the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe originally from what’s currently Romania, and their migration and eventual conquest (along with several other tribes) of the Roman territories of present day Spain.  The various battles, major figures (mostly kings and bishops), and fluctuations in ownership are detailed.  At times the author must again go on tangents to explain information necessary to understanding the next stage of development, like glossing over the origins of Islam so the reader will grasp the political and cultural challengers when Muslims conquer the Southern provinces of Spain.

For several centuries there are only a few primary sources, or sources obviously written so long after the events they detail they’re functionally useless for deriving accurate information.  He mentions what the sources are and what cautions are necessary when applying them to the period.  

It’s a highly involved history, so you have to pay very close attention to each paragraph as sudden shifts in narrative can leave you lost if your mind wanders.

This book will give you a solid basis of early medieval Spain. 

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Almost Home Short Film

Dreamworks released a short film for their upcoming movie Almost Home and it's a lot of fun.  It will be out on November 26th.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Shout-Out: Dead Americans and Other Stories by Ben Peek

Out today.  You can check out the table of contents and a sample here.

A collection of the critically acclaimed dark, weird and surreal short fiction of Ben Peek. It presents a world where bands are named after the murderer of a dead president, where the work of Octavia E. Butler is turned into an apocalypse meta-narrative, and John Wayne visits a Wal-Mart. It presents a world where a dying sun shines over a broken, bitter landscape and men and women tattoo their life onto their skin for an absent god. It presents Mark Twain dreaming of Sydney, and answers a questionnaire you never read.

Book Review: The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

Pros: organic world-building, fascinating characters, slow build up, satisfying conclusion


The Emperor of the Annurian Empire has died.  His oldest child, a daughter, Adare, lives in the Dawn Palace and has been raised to the post of Finance Minister.  Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has been training under the tutelage of the Shin monks for eight years, trying to master a technique he’ll need in order to rule.  Their younger brother, Valyn, is close to becoming a member of the Kettral, an elite force that flies on gigantic birds.

As the plot that killed the emperor spreads to his children, they must master their various skills in order to survive.

This is a slow building story that allows the reader to learn about the world through the actions and knowledge of the characters.  There are no info dumps, and a lot of information is left unstated.  The characters develop slowly, changing as the events of the book affect them.

The world is multicultural, though the focus remains on the three protagonists, each of whom live in very different places.  The majority of time is spent alternating between Valyn’s brutal training as a warrior and Kaden’s rather different, but equally brutal training to learn how to empty his mind.  While Adare gets fewer pages devoted to her story, it’s in no way less important to the plot or interesting to the reader.  Hers involves more political intrigue while her brothers’ tales have more blood and pain.

While the book employs familiar elements, the writing feels fresh and the ideas are cleverly used.  It’s a fantastic debut and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the story.  

Sunday 16 March 2014

Shout-Out: Food for the Gods by Karen Dudley

I came across this book when I did April's upcoming fiction titles as the second book in this series, Kraken Bake is out April 30th.  This series, based on Greek mythology, looks hilarious.

Pelops' troubles began when his father chopped him into stewing meat and served him to the gods for tea. Although he's been remade, and gifted with a talent for the culinary arts, there are downsides--namely a missing shoulder and sea god with an infatuation. Poseidon's nice enough, but he just doesn't take no for an answer. Not only that, a wealthy, but mysterious patron has been causing Pelops' clients to cancel their engagements. Meanwhile, a rival chef is doing his best to destroy Pelops' reputation, the woman Pelops loves appears oblivious to his feelings, and just before Athens' most important festival begins, Pelops finds himself suddenly without olive oil--a serious concern for a chef. But things get worse when a courtesan is murdered at a dinner Pelops prepares--drowned in his newly-acquired olive oil. Seeking vengeance, the Furies arrive in Athens, and the rival chef blames their attacks on Pelops. Clients cancel in droves, and even Pelops' friends are affected by his rival's machinations. Pelops asks the gods for help, but when they turn him down, he realizes he alone must find the woman's killer to salvage his reputation.

Friday 14 March 2014

World-Building: Health Fads

One of the offsites I've done for the World's Biggest Bookstore over the years has been the HRPA (Human Resources Professionals Association conference).  A few years back one of the booths had an oxygen bar, which I wanted to try but didn't end up getting the chance to.  So when I saw a similar oxygen bar at this year's show, I made the time to go. 

This is a picture from the internet, but the booth at the show looked identical to this, minus the plasma globe and company id.

It was an interesting experience, sitting with a strap over my ears and the tube ends up my nose, getting a dose of concentrated oxygen.  I thought the slightly scented oxygen hit would wake me up, helping me get through the rest of the day.  In actuality it made me kind of tired.

So why mention it here?  First, it felt like a very sci-fi thing to do, sitting on a stool and getting a 'hit' of pure oxygen.  Second, it struck me that health fads are a huge part of modern day life and yet I don't remember reading a book - science fiction or fantasy - where a current fad is sweeping through.  (I will note here that not remembering one isn't the same as there not being one, I've never considered this before so it I've encountered a health fad in a book I've probably skimmed over it.)  And fads are universal.  Sure, the object of the fad will be different in different places, but fads can found everywhere, in every time, whether for food items, healing baths, clothing, cleanliness (a scented pomander ball anyone?), what have you.

That's not to say fads should be front and center of books, but mentioning one - and how the characters react to them (followers, sceptics) - could help make your world feel more real.

Thursday 13 March 2014

Movie Review: The Last Days on Mars

Directed by: Ruiari Robinson, 2013

Pros: good variety of characters’ reactions, some terrifying situations

Cons: scientific inaccuracies, no big scares

A crew on their last 19 hours on Mars before the 6 month voyage home unexpectedly discovers what they were looking for - alien life - with disastrous consequences.

This is basically a zombie movie set on Mars.  In some ways it was like Alien, mainly because Kim Aldrich’s character (played by Olivia Williams), is so cold (by which I mean ‘survival mindedly intelligent’ and focused) she reminded me of Ripley.  There’s a decent amount of character development, including some down time between attacks, which makes various deaths more meaningful to the viewer.

There was a good variety of characters’ reactions to the crisis, with a guy having the most severe breakdown (and no hysterical women!).  The actors, on the whole, did a fantastic job.

While the situation was quite terrifying, and the tension ramped up in several scenes, there were no huge, jump out of your seat, scares.  After the zombies were revealed it was pretty obvious as a viewer where things were heading.

My husband noticed several scientific inaccuracies, most noticeably that characters ran like they were on Earth, rather than on a 1/3 gravity planet.  He also questioned the ability of an alien entity to interact with human physiology so rapidly and the speed with which it became immune to one of their attacks.  Similarly, the amount of time for the airlocks to open and close seemed to get shorter as the movie progressed, amping up the tension at the expense of integrity. 

It was entertaining, and looked great.  

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Star Wars Tunisia - Happy video

If you haven't seen this yet, well, Tunisia's got a pretty cool Star Wars fan club and they've made this music video to Pharrell William's Happy.


Tuesday 11 March 2014

Book Review: Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan

Pros: interesting future world, some interesting philosophical discussions, tense climax 

Cons: uneven pacing, overuse of pop culture references 

When Ellis Rogers hears that he is terminally ill with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, he decides to use the time machine he built in his garage.  He says goodbye to his best friend and learns a devastating secret about his wife, who’s been cold towards him after the suicide of their son.

But he goes much further into the future than he intended, and the future is very different from what he’d pictured.

Sullivan begins his book with an author’s note, where he explains that the science he uses to explain time travel is meant to be taken much like that of H. G. Wells, a means to an end.  If you’re looking for hard SF and detailed explanations of how everything works, this is not the book for you.

Like The Time Machine, the book’s an exploration of humanity, and toward the end especially, there are some interesting philosophical discussions.  There’s also a murder mystery to solve, which provides most of the plot based elements of the book.

I enjoyed his look at the future.  It’s quite unique, and allowed him to examine several aspects of modern day society.  And for those of you who like questions of gender… without spoiling anything, his future has some surprises.

The pacing is uneven.  Chapters full of character interactions and learning about life in Hollow World are suddenly interrupted when the mystery reappears.  I sometimes had trouble transitioning from the laid back enjoyment of the former scenes to the intensity of the latter.  It’s surprisingly easy at times, with all that’s going on, to forget the mystery is even there. 

The book comes to a pretty tense climax.  Everything focuses and the pacing evens out for the final chapters. 

This was a personal pet peeve, and I’m not sure to what extent it will annoy others, but Sullivan threw in a LOT of modern pop culture references, which I found distracting.  Especially since I didn’t understand most of the references he used.  For example, instead of saying that the gram (basically a TV show) Ellis watches is a documentary, he says, “This was a multi-part series similar to a Ken Burns documentary or something produced for the History Channel.”  While I know what the History Channel is, I’ve never heard of Ken Burns.  I read something once that a classic is a book that can transcend time.  Once you have specific references to current culture the chances of someone being able to pick the book up and read it without problem 100 years later is doubtful.  I could have used some end notes to explain some of the references, as will people less in the loop than I am.  Luckily for me Sullivan tended to use several references in a row, so if I didn’t understand one reference, often another would suffice to clue me in.  

It was an interesting story with some thought-provoking moments towards the end.

Sunday 9 March 2014

Shout-Out: The Curve of the Earth by Simon Morden

Welcome to the Metrozone - post-apocalyptic London of the Future, full of homeless refugees, street gangs, crooked cops and mad cults. Enter Samuil Petrovitch: a Russian émigré with a smart mouth, a dodgy heart and a dodgier past. He's brilliant, selfish, cocky and might just be most unlikely champion a city has ever had. Armed with a genius-level intellect, extensive cybernetic replacements, a built-in AI with god-like capabilities and a plethora of Russian swearwords - he's saved this city from ruin more than once. He's also made a few enemies in the process - Reconstruction America being one of them. So when his adopted daughter Lucy goes missing, he's got a clue who's responsible. And there's no way he can let them get away with it.

Saturday 8 March 2014

Book Review: The Alchemy of Paint: Art, Science and Secrets From the Middle Ages by Spike Bucklow

Pros: very well researched, explains things clearly using numerous examples, goes over various historical traditions

Cons: only mentions the most expensive pigments artists used, only a few illustrations

This is an exploration of colours used by painters in the middle ages by way of their ‘scientific’ and alchemical significance.  It mentions myths, traditions, physical and spiritual significances of the materials according to Traditional beliefs.  It also goes over the alchemical procedures that made these already expensive pigments even more important.

I was expecting a treatise on all the different pigments used in the middle ages, something akin to a teaching manual.  Instead, I got a mind blowing exploration of philosophy and world beliefs of the past.  I’ve always been interested in alchemy, and this book explained things like Plato’s cave, 4 element theory, and the Philosopher’s Stone in a way that was easy to understand.  While there were only a few simple figure drawings, the clarity of the writing meant illustration wasn’t really necessary (even if it would have been welcome).

Only a few pigments are mentioned: Tyrian purple, ultramarine blue, vermilion and dragonsblood (both red), and gold.  Later chapters revisit some of these materials showing their spiritual, rather than physical, significance.  I appreciated learning that the location and method of obtaining materials had meaning for the later artwork and use of the pigments, which I hadn’t expected.  Similarly, it doesn’t cover all aspects of alchemy, just those associated with the pigments being discussed.

The opening’s a bit condescending in the way of ‘we don’t think as they did, so it will be hard for you to understand what I’m about to say’, but he quickly moved on to the topic at hand, and only occasionally gave a modern analogy for those who might have trouble wrapping their heads around the Traditional world view (as opposed to the modern Scientific, analytical view).

This is a fascinating book and if you have any interest in alchemy I can’t recommend it enough.  Another thing it showed, that modern audiences don’t recognize, is how interconnected the world of the past was.  We see Europe as an isolated area, ignoring the fact that materials and ideas traversed borders and continents to influence them.  I also didn’t realize just how much Christianity took from other traditions.  Looks like I’ve a whole lot more reading and research to do.

Friday 7 March 2014

Gollancz's Debut Offer

I got an email about this and went to their website to find out more

We will publish a number of exciting debuts over the course of 2014 and we’re confident that all of them are wonderful new talents that you should read. We’re so confident, in fact, that we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is and make it possible for you to try these books for less than the price of a cup of coffee.
We have decided to reduce the price of the eBook editions of Gollancz debuts this year to £1.99 for the week of publication. What’s more, we’ll make this price available for pre-order as well, so, in effect, if you decide to purchase one of these books at any time up to a week after it’s been published, you’ll do so for less money than a Saturday newspaper.

The first book this affects is The Boy With the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick.

Lucien de Fontein has grown up different. One of the mysterious and misshapen Orfano who appear around the Kingdom of Landfall, he is a talented fighter yet constantly lonely, tormented by his deformity, and well aware that he is a mere pawn in a political game. Ruled by an insane King and the venomous Majordomo, it is a world where corruption and decay are deeply rooted - but to a degree Lucien never dreams possible when he first discovers the plight of the 'insane' women kept in the haunting Sanatoria.

They've also listed all the debuts they have coming out this year that will be affected by this first week deal:

March 20: The Boy With The Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick

May 15: In Dark Service by Stephen Hunt

June 19: Barricade by Jon Wallace

July 17: The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano

August 14: The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs

Sept 18: The Relic Guild by Edward Cox

They also advise that you confirm the price as retailers may take a day to reflect the sale.

Change is Coming

I've gone through many changes in my life - who hasn't? - but one thing remains constant.  I hate change.  But change is a necessary part of growth, and this site is about to go through some growing pains.

With about two weeks left until the World's Biggest Bookstore closes, I've been contemplating change for some time now.  And I've come to a few decisions.  Some of these will come slowly - I'll still be working through April as we clear out the property - others will come into effect immediately.

After a lot of deliberation I've decided to stop doing Author Interviews.  Without the store display and ability to hand-sell the books, I don't feel my blog alone is enough of a platform for the time and effort authors put into interviews for me to justify asking for them.  I may do the occasional Q&A for promotion, but that's it.

And speaking of promotion, I want to do more shout-out posts.  It's hard to get a book out there, and harder to get readers to pick it up.  I was always amazed at the number of books I'd discover months or years after publication while shelving that I'd heard nothing about.  Since I won't be discovering books via shelving them or browsing shelves at work, I've got to remember books that interest me some other way.

And one of the ways I'll keep discovering new books is by doing my upcoming books posts.  I've started putting asterisks next to the books I want to feature/read.

I've also had two new ideas for posts.  The first hit me when I read this post by Kameron Hurley about 'Forgotten Fantasy Favourites'.  I used to reread books all the time.  In fact, I had a wall of books that I could pick from to skim when I didn't have time to read a whole novel.  I haven't opened any of those books in years, and so won't be reviewing them.  But it seems a shame to let my favourite books of the past languish unloved, so I want to start a "Forgotten Favourites" feature, where I can explain why I loved each of those books.  They won't be formal reviews, more love letters to old friends.

The second idea came from the overuse of the same fantasy creatures in most books and seeing new creatures in a few outlier books.  I'd like to feature different creatures from all backgrounds and see if I can inspire authors to branch out from the standard creature list.  I probably won't start this until I've stopped working though.

One feature you'll see soon is more history reviews.  I've got a few waiting to post but fiction tends to take precedence.  I'm going to start posting history reviews on Thursdays, maybe alternating with movie reviews, until that pile's gone.

I'll also have to start using social media more.  I already post periodically on Google+, but it looks like it's time to learn twitter...

Thursday 6 March 2014

GLaDOS teaches science

When two techs working at NASA hook up their latest AI, they end up with a power-hungry GLaDOS (the evil AI from Valve's Portal video game, voiced by Ellen McLain).  In an effort to prove she's not evil, GLaDOS explains what fusion and fission are.  Got to admit, it's a great way to teach science.

From the youtube page:

This video was produced by the education & public outreach department of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, focusing on STEM education.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Epic Fantasy Story Bundle

I've bought a StoryBundle before - though I haven't had time to read any of the books from it yet.  Their books come in 3 formats, DRM free. 

From the email introducing the new Epic Fantasy bundle:

With StoryBundle, you can name your own price, pay what you think the batch of books is worth, and you'll get the first batch of six. If you pay $12 or more, you'll get three bonus books—Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson, The Immortals by Tracy Hickman, and The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson. – Kevin J. Anderson

The initial titles in the bundle (minimum $3 to purchase) are:
If you pay more than the bonus price of just $12, you'll get three extra bonus books:

Click the links to see what the books are about.  And here's their website if you'd like more information or to buy the bundle.

Science Team Movie Summary and Trailer

I got an email about this film and while it sounds like it has too much gore for my taste I figured I'd post the synopsis and trailer in case others are interested.  The film is currently touring on a theatrical and festival run.  Check out their website for more information and to see if there's a screening near you.

Chip returns home to find his mother brutally murdered and a sessile space alien living in her house rent free. A somewhat xenophobic and bureaucratic government agency called Science Team is brought in to eliminate the extraterrestrial threat. Drama ensues. People die. Inner and extraterrestrial demons are engaged. Men in pink suits use cool-looking technology. Events culminate in a destructive orgy of violence as people's minds are literally blown out of their heads.

Filmed in Richmond, VA with the help of many talented local filmmakers and filmmakers from around the world, Science Team represents a landmark achievement in independent cinema that pushes micro-budget film-making to heights never before reached.                             

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Book Review: Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

Pros: fun, engaging protagonist, interesting alien races

Cons: takes Tula a long time to figure out something fairly obvious

For parents: kissing, some violence

Sixteen year old Tula Bane arrives on the Yertina Feray as a member of the Children of Earth on their way to colonize a new world.  But when her questioning puts her at odds with their leader, Brother Blue, she’s left for dead on the station as they move on.

Surrounded by numerous alien species who think little of isolationist humans, and with only limited knowledge of Universal Galactic, she wonders how she’ll survive, let alone get her revenge on Brother Blue.

Tin Star is a fun, quick read.  The protagonist is intelligent and quickly makes a place for herself on the station, with the help of another alien. It’s interesting watching her interact with the various alien races and, when some humans arrive on the station, realize how little she now knows about her own kind.  

The different alien races are only loosely described, allowing you some freedom in creating your mental image of them.  Similarly, while it’s clear that Tula learns how to understand them for trade purposes, a lot of their habits, customs, etc, are also left to your imagination.  I personally enjoyed this, though I imagine some readers will wish for more descriptive and explanatory passages.  The same goes for the political intrigues of the universe at large.  Changes in the outside world affect the station, but - due to problems with their communications array - the station’s information about the outside world is minimal. 

There are minor romantic elements towards the middle of the book but the focus remains on Tula and her mission to get off the station. 

My only complaint is that it takes Tula rather a long time to figure out something that seemed pretty obvious early on in the book.  And that’s a mild complaint as it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book nor did it seem the author was purposely making her blind.  It’s something a person in her circumstances wouldn’t consider.

For parents wondering about content issues, there’s no language or sex (though some scenes suggest sex may be happening off page, those passages can be interpreted either way).  There’s a little kissing and some minor violence (the protagonist is beaten in the first chapter). 

The book is self-contained, but set up for a sequel.  I really enjoyed this book and hope there’s more to come.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Shout-Out: R/Evolution by Tenea Johnson

I found this book on a list of black authors who write horror by Sumiko Saulson.  There are now 3 lists, with some great names, so go check them out.  You can take a look inside this collection of stories on Amazon.

People are starving, biogenetic adaptations are prevalent amongst the privileged, and the poor are being ground to a sharp and dangerous point. This is the future US, where in the struggle for survival citizens are pushed to the breaking point as relationships start to fracture along the lines of class and race. These are stories of the leaders and the followers, the victims, heroes, and the everyday people caught in history's wake, chief among them Dr. Ezekiel Carter, a genius in his field who decides to offer genetic reparations to those being left behind. In this world, what will become of the people at the fringes and more than that, of humanity itself?

Saturday 1 March 2014

Science Fiction and Fantasy Coming in April, 2014

This book is compiled using Amazon's Canadian site and as such reflects Canadian release dates.  For some reason Amazon includes 9-12 aged titles in with their teen/YA books, so I tried to edit those out.  I may have missed a few.  I also added in the Carina ebooks.  


The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison
The Furies – Mark Alpert
Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds – Greg Bear & Gardner Dozois
Steles of the Sky – Elizabeth Bear
Shipstar – Gregory Benford & Larry Niven
Transhuman – Ben Bova
Peacemaker – C.J. Cherryh
Saucer: Savage Planet – Stephen Coonts
Unwrapped Sky – Rjurik Davidson
Jack in the Green – Charles de Lint
The Book of Silverberg – Garnder Dozois & William Schafer, Ed.
The Revolutions – Felix Gilman
Afterparty – Daryl Gregory
Games Creatures Play – Charlaine Harris & Toni Kelner, Ed.
Irenicon – Aidan Harte
One Was Stubborn – L. Ron Hubbard
Baltic Gambit – E.E. Knight
Valour and Vanity – Mary Robinette Kowal
Warhammer 40K: Horus Heresy: Visions of Heresy – Alan Merrett
The Adjacent – Christopher Priest
The Forever Watch – David Ramirez
Thornlost – Melanie Rawn
Demi-Monde: Fall – Rod Rees
XOM-B – Jeremy Robinson
Cauldron of Ghosts – David Weber & Eric Flint 

Trade Paperback:

What the Family Needed – Steven Amsterdam
The Line of Polity – Neal Asher
Heaven’s Queen – Rachel Bach
Lexicon – Max Barry
The Godwhale – T.J. Bass
Dark Eden – Chris Beckett
Binding the Shadows – Jenn Bennett
Covenant – Sabrina Benulis
Balance Point – Robert Buettner
Pack of Strays – Dana Cameron
Upon a Sea of Stars – A. Bertram Chandler
Elements – Suzanne Church
Warhammer 40K: Galaxy in Flames – Ben Counter
Quicksilver Soul – Christine D’Abo
Lovecraft’s Monsters – Ellen Datlow, Ed.
Winds of Salem – Melissa de la Cruz
Over My Head – Charles de Lint
Kraken Bake – Karen Dudley
The Ophelia Prophecy – Sharon Lynn Fisher
The Shattered Crown – Richard Ford
Wild West Exodus – Craig Gallant
Ink Mage – Victor Gischler
Two Serpents Rise – Max Gladstone
You – Austin Grossman
Space Opera – Rich Horton, Ed.
Spawn – Shaun Hutson
Revelations – Paul Antony Jones
River of Stars – Guy Gavriel Kay
Yellowstone Four – Ken Kilner
Blood Bargain – Maria Lima
No Lasting Burial – Stant Litore
New Watch – Sergei Lukyanenko
The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything – John MacDonald
The Disestablishment of Paradise – Philip Mann 
Skin Deep – Megan Martin
Star Trek: Fallen Gods – Michael Martin
Promise of Blood – Brian McClellan
Trinity Stones – L.G. O’Connor
Warhammer: Gotrek & Felix: The Serpent Queen – Josh Reynolds
Deadroads – Robin Riopelle
The Chalk Giants, Kiteworld & The Grain Kings Omnibus – Keith Roberts
The Immortal Collection – Eva Garcia Saenz 
Cocoon – David Saperstein
New Sight – Jo Schneider
Orbitsville, A Wreath of Stars & The Ragged Astronauts Omnibus – Bob Shaw
Operation Shield – Joel Shepherd
Fiend – Peter Stenson
Hollow World – Michael Sullivan
Battle Royale: Remastered – Koushun Takami (new translation by Nathan Collins)
The End of Never – Tammy Turner
Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction – Gerry Vanavan & Kim Stanley Robinson, Ed.
The Last Confession of the Vampire Judas Iscariot – David Vermont
A Dance in Blood Velvet – Freda Warrington
Ithanalin's Restoration – Lawrence Watt-Evans
Dragon Age: The Masked Empire – Patrick Weekes
The Best of Connie Willis – Connie Willis
Robot Uprisings – Daniel Wilson & John Joseph Adams, Ed.
The White Mountain – David Wingrove
The Delving – Jes Young
The Sky so Heavy – Claire Zorn

Mass Market Paperback:

Silver Mirrors – A. A. Aguirre
Circle of Desire – Keri Arthur
Dragon’s Luck – Robert Asprin
Guardian – Jack Campbell
Earth Afire – Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston
Dark Serpent – Kylie Chan
Protector – C.J. Cherryh
Peacemaker – Marianne De Pierres
Shards of Time – Lynn Flewelling
Portal – Eric Flint & Ryk Spoor
Aliens – Alan Dean Foster
Dragon Age: Asunder – David Gaider
The Tangled Bridge – Rhodi Hawk
Marked – Alex Hughes
Appalachian Overthrow – E.E. Knight
The Fearful Gates – Ross Lawhead
Star Wars: Into the Void – Tim Lebbon
Forever Knight – John Marco
Star Trek: Serpents in the Garden – Jeff Mariotte
Reign of Ash – Gail Martin
If Wishes Were Horses – Anne McCaffrey
Warhammer 40K: The Greater Good – Sandy Mitchell
Stone Cold – Devon Monk
Limits of Power – Elizabeth Moon
Grunt Life – Weston Ochse
Morningside Fall – Jay Posey
Edge of Tomorrow – Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Shanghai Sparrow – Gaie Sebold
World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde – Michael Stackpole
Circle of Blood – Debbie Viguie
House of Steel: The Honorverse Companion – David Weber
Chimera – David Wellington


Vengeance of the Hunter – Angela Highland
Twisted Miracles – A.J. Larrieu
Golem in my Glovebox – R.L. Naquin
Fire of Stars and Dragons – Melissa Petreshock
Survive to Dawn – P.J. Schnyder
Inhuman – David Simpson
Ladder to the Red Star – Jael Wye


Deity – Jennifer Armentrout
Promises to Keep – Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Remnants – Lisa Bergren
Lost in Thought – Cara Bertrand
Frozen – Erin Bowman
The Here and Now – Ann Brashares
Born of Illusion – Teri Brown
Daylighters – Rachel Caine
Death Spiral – Janie Chodosh
On the Eighth Tin – Adrian Cory
Invisibility – Andrea Cremer & David Levithan
The Inventor’s Secret – Andrea Cremer
The Ring and the Crown – Melissa de la Cruz
The Taking – Kimberly Derting
Salvage – Alexandra Duncan
Plus One – Elizabeth Fama
The Creeper – Emerald Fennell
Zombies Don’t Surrender – Rusty Fischer
Towering – Alex Flinn
Deception’s Princess – Esther Friesner
Spirits Chosen – Esther Friesner
Light – Michael Grant
Starfall – Michael Griffo
Dangerous – Shannon Hale
Rebel Belle – Rachel Hawkins
Burn Out – Kristi Helvig
The Curse of Maleficent – Elizabeth Hessler
Sweet Reckoning – Wendy Higgins
Stolen Songbird – Danielle Jensen
The Hunt – Stacey Kade
The Rules – Stacey Kade
Illusion – Sherrilyn Kenyon
Inferno – Sherrilyn Kenyon
Bye, Bye, Evil Eye – Deborah Kerbel
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf – Ambelin Kwaymullina
Victories – Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
Dark Triumph – Robin LaFevers
Witchfall – Victoria Lamb
A Whisper in Time – Elizabeth Langston
Toxic Heart – Theo Lawrence
The Loop – Shandy Lawson
The Wish – Gail Carson Levine
Brightling – Rebecca Lisle
Prodigy – Marie Lu
Falling to Ash – Karen Mahoney
Carnival of Souls – Melissa Marr
Talker 25 – Joshua McCune 
Meridian – Josin McQuein
Parallel – Lauren Miller
The Elementals – Sandra Mitchell
The Cracks in the Kingdom – Jaclyn Moriarty
Sunrise – Mike Mullin
Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige
The Originals – Cat Patrick
The Legend Thief – E.J. Patten 
Expiration Day – William Campbell Powell
Another Little Piece – Kate Karyus Quinn
Resurrection – Amy Carol Reeves
Of Breakable Things – A. Lynden Rolland
Under Nameless Stars – Christian Schoon
Afterlife – Dee Schulman
The Secret Circle – L.J. Smith 
Natural Born Angel – Scott Speer
Star Cursed – Jessica Spotswood
Icons – Margaret Stohl
Door in the Mountain – Caitlin Sweet
Dreams of Gods & Monsters – Laini Taylor
Reboot – Amy Tintera
Darkbound – Scott Tracey
Creators – Tiffany Truitt
Souls Screamers – Rachel Vincent
Where the Rock Splits the Sky – Philip Webb
Noggin – John Corey Whaley
House of Ivy & Sorrow – Natalie Whipple
Under the Light – Laura Whitcomb
Silver – Chris Wooding
The Balance – Neal Wooten

The Treatment – Suzanne Young