Lavie Tidhar’s CENTRAL STATION on Coode Street


Lavie Tidhar‘s latest critically-acclaimed novel, CENTRAL STATION, was the topic of discussion on the seventh episode of the Coode Street Roundtable podcast series!

CENTRAL STATION is published by Tachyon Publications. Here’s the synopsis…

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik — a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation — a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness — are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive… and even evolve.

Here are just a few examples of the great reviews the book has received…

‘Magnificently blends literary and speculative elements in this streetwise mosaic novel set under the towering titular spaceport… Tidhar gleefully mixes classic SF concepts with prose styles and concepts that recall the best of world literature… Characters wrestle with problems of identity forged under systems of oppression, much as displaced Easterners and Westerners do in the novels of Orhan Pamuk. And yet this is unmistakably SF. Readers of all persuasions will be entranced.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

CENTRAL STATION is without question the best assemblage of short stories I’ve read in recent memory. Sublimely sensual, emotionally moreish, and composed with crystalline clarity irrespective of its incredible complexity.’ — Tor.com

‘It is just this side of a masterpiece — short, restrained, lush — and the truest joy of it is in the way Tidhar scatters brilliant ideas like pennies on the sidewalk.’ — NPR

‘The stories include some of Tidhar’s most beautiful prose, and his future Tel Aviv is among the most evocative settings in recent SF… Somehow, CENTRAL STATION combines a cultural sensibility too long invisible in SF with a sensibility which is nothing but classic SF, and the result is a rather elegant suite of tales.’ — Locus

CENTRAL STATION is a wondrous thought-provoking book, as you would expect from someone as highly credentialed as Lavie Tidhar.’ — Fantasy Book Review

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Early Buzz for Aliette de Bodard’s HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS


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Just a quick post to share some examples of the recent early buzz that is generating around Aliette de Bodard‘s highly-anticipated new novel, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS. The book, first in a two-book sequence, is due to be published in August/September by Gollancz (UK) and Roc Books (US).

The novel has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly

‘A gripping tragedy of forlorn individuals caught up in an angelic version of the Cold War… The story holds up well as a standalone, with clear possibilities but no pressing need for a sequel. De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.’

Speaking of Publishers Weekly, HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS was also selected as one of the magazine’s Top 10 Autumn SF/Fantasy/Horror picks:

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The US cover also featured prominently at Penguin’s stand at San Diego ComicCon…

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Here’s the synopsis…

A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in heaven

Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, now lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation; or the architects of its last, irreversible fall…

THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE is a Rising Star on Amazon UK!


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Simon Kurt Unsworth‘s upcoming horror-fantasy THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE has been selected by Amazon UK as a Rising Star for March 2015 — that is, a debut author to watch! We certainly agree. The first in a two-part series, THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE is due to be published in the UK by Del Rey on March 12th. Here’s the synopsis…

Welcome to hell…

… where skinless demons patrol the lakes and the waves of Limbo wash against the outer walls, while the souls of the Damned float on their surface, waiting to be collected.

When an unidentified, brutalised body is discovered, the case is assigned to Thomas Fool, one of Hell’s detectives, known as ‘Information Men’. But how do you investigate a murder where death is commonplace and everyone is guilty of something?

THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE is due to be published in North America by Doubleday, on March 3rd, 2015 (cover at end).

Speaking of THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE, Mslexia has invited Simon’s wife, Rosie Seymour, to write about the experience of being married to a soon-to-be published author. Rosie’s first piece was published recently, and you can read it here. Here’s the crux of the series…

‘We are only at the beginning of this strange and exciting journey and I genuinely have no idea where it will lead. Mslexia have invited me to blog in the lead up to and just beyond the release date and I hope to share with you our ups and downs, any tips that might be useful and hopefully shine a light into the mysterious world of first-time publishing… I’ve been with him every step of the way and given that I am trying to find my own way through the world of writing and into the world of publishing it’s a pretty darn useful journey to be taking. I’m hoping you’ll join us too.’

And, in other news, the novel has just received a great review in Publishers Weekly‘Unsworth’s care in constructing an imaginary world enables him to make the most of his debut’s challenging concept: a hard-boiled detective novel set in Hell itself… Unsworth offers intriguing variations on traditional themes and some memorably hair-raising prose…’

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Edward Cox’s THE RELIC GUILD Launch a Huge Success!


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THE RELIC GUILD Editor Marcus Gipps (left) and Edward Cox

On September 18th, Gollancz published Edward Cox‘s superb debut fantasy novel, THE RELIC GUILD. To mark the occasion, the publisher and Goldsboro Books hosted Edward for a great book launch event.

CoxE-RelicGuildLaunch3-CropIn addition, Gollancz organised an extensive blog tour to mark the publication of the novel…

CoxE-RelicGuildBlogTourBanner15th September

Interview on Geek Planet Online

Guest Post: ‘Lies of the Father’ on Falcata Times‘how he smashed the ice when moving from a busy city to the country and how a lie can sometimes make a huge difference’

16th September

Interview on Book Plank

Guest Post: ‘A Deal’s Not a Deal Until the Deal is Done’ on Sci-Fi London‘I’ve been asked a few times about how I got signed by a major publisher. My answer always makes me sound flippant: I got an agent, and he got me a book deal. It’s a little more complicated than that, but it’s the truth. What’s also true is that it took me longer to convince my agent to represent my book than it took my agent to get the book signed by Gollancz.’

17th September

THE RELIC GUILD Audio Clip on The Cult Den

Guest Post: ‘The Feeling’ on Reader Dad‘The great question: why do I write? I’ve been asked this a number of times, and my answers have been varied. I’ve taken the pretentious route, proclaiming that no one chooses to be a writer, writing chooses you. I’ve tried to brush it off by saying that writing is the only thing I know how to do. The truth is, I definitely do know why I write, but it is difficult for me explain simply. It comes from an experience, a visceral reaction that I now call the Feeling.’

18th September

Guest Post: ‘Writing and Teaching’ on Wondrous Reads‘During the 2012-2013 academic year, I lectured in creating writing at the University of Bedfordshire. It was my privilege to spend many hours in the company of keen-minded individuals, each of whom was eager to get better at what they did. Their passion fuelled my passion. They inspired me as I tried to inspire them… I’m very proud of the work I did there. However, I’ve known a lot of people who don’t trust writing courses of any kind, and their misgivings are not without some justification.’

Interview with Alastair Stuart

19th September

Guest Post: ‘Known Things’ on Fantasy Book Critic‘A certain kind of vindication, a validation, comes with signing a book deal. Someone like Gollancz doesn’t buy your novel unless they believe it is good enough to publish. Knowing this will patch up the shaky confidence of any writer, at least for a time. However, writing a novel good enough for Gollancz is only the beginning, because when you’ve signed up for a trilogy, you sort of have to do it again…’

THE RELIC GUILD Audio Clip on Geek Native

20th September

Interview on Fantasy Book Review (and review)

Guest Post: ‘Writes & Wrongs’ on Civilian Reader – ‘I might have taken the longest route possible to getting an agent. I’m something of a blunderer by nature, and learning the hard way is the theme of my life. So much so that I sometimes wonder how I managed to get an agent at all…’

And, finally – THE RELIC GUILD, out now in Hardcover and Audiobook, is also available in eBook at just £1.99 until 25th September.

UK Publication Day: RESISTANCE by Samit Basu


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Today, Titan Books publish RESISTANCE, the highly-anticipated follow-up to Samit Basu‘s TURBULENCE! The novel is yet another action-packed take on the super-hero genre, and one that offers a great new twist on the popular sub-genre. Here’s the synopsis…

Eleven years after the passengers of flight BA142 from London to Delhi developed extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires, the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and some just want to smash up iconic monuments and get on TV. But now someone is hunting down supers, killing heroes and villains both, and it’s up to the Unit to stop them…

In case that didn’t whet your appetite, you can read excerpts of chapters 1 (Tor.com) and 3 (SF Signal).

Samit has also been busy on the interview circuit, and you can find him on Tor.com, SciFiNow, SFF World, and Suvudu. Here is just a selection of the early reviews for RESISTANCE

‘Adept plotting keeps… globe-spanning threads spooling smoothly and meticulous blocking gives the dazzling action sequences a cinematic bravura.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘Prepare to have your puny Earth brain blown out of the back of your head as Samit Basu takes the idea of superheroes and turns the dial up to 11.’ — Ben Aaronovitch (author of RIVERS OF LONDON)

‘Fresh, exciting heroics with a serious spine. What’s not to like?’Nick Harkaway (author of Angelmaker and Tigerman)

‘When I read TURBULENCE I thought the bar had been set too high for Basu to reach it again. I was wrong. This book is in fact better than TURBULENCE.’ — Cult Den

‘Speaking of action we were amazed by the description of Basu’s battle sequences which took on a new kind of life as we read them. They were deeply cinematic in scope… a multifaceted master stroke for the author… RESISTANCE is a great take on modern portrayals of super-powers.’Vada Magazine

‘What would it be like if normal humans were suddenly given superpowers? I feel both books deal with this issue in a way that isn’t just humorous, but also realistic. And that’s what makes both books a good read.’ — FanGirl Confessions on both TURBULENCE and RESISTANCE

‘If you have the guts to poke your head out of the comfortable and familiar and try a new, somewhat foreign flavor (“international” would be a better description), you will be richly rewarded. Only look out for falling buildings, animated statues, monsters with poisonous flatulence, and the possibility of at least a third book to come!’ — MuggleNet

Tomorrow: Matthew Hughes’s TO HELL AND BACK Trilogy is an Amazon Kindle Daily Deal…


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Tomorrow, Amazon US and Canada will be offering Matthew Hughes‘s super-hero urban fantasy trilogy To Hell And Back as their Kindle Daily Deal! This is your heads-up to get ready! (We’ll remind you all via our Twitter feed, too.) Published by Angry Robot Books, the series includes THE DAMNED BUSTERS, COSTUME NOT INCLUDED and HELL TO PAY.

Here’s the synopsis for the first book in the series…

After accidentally summoning a demon while playing poker, the normally mild-mannered Chesney Anstruther refuses to sell his soul… which leads through various confusions to, well, Hell going on strike. Which means that nothing bad ever happens in the world – and that actually turns out to be a really bad thing.

There’s only one thing for it. Satan offers Chesney the ultimate deal – sign the damned contract, and he can have his heart’s desire. And thus the strangest superhero duo ever seen – in Hell or on Earth – is born!

And, in case you needed more convincing, here is just a small selection of praise that has been heaped on the series…

‘Hughes continues to carve out a unique place for himself in the fantasy-mystery realm. A droll narrative voice, dry humor and an alternative universe that’s accessible without exposition make this a winner.’Publishers Weekly

‘You’re missing out if you haven’t bought this book yet. Pure and simple.’Founding Fields

‘A witty superhero story that’s just plain fun.’SF Signal

‘Part mystery, part comic book, part religious treatise, and part crime drama, Hughes manages to work in entertaining twists and character confrontations on a regular basis without overloading his story.’ – Sacramento & San Francisco Book Review

‘The first book in the series was very good, the second was better. The events of those books were leading up to this final volume in the trilogy and it’s the best yet.’British Fantasy Society on HELL TO PAY

‘A highly enjoyable read, with some interesting philosophical underpinnings and surprising twists. The book makes for a satisfying ending to the To Hell & Back series, which gave us a quirky, off-beat story about an unlikely super hero, with unexpected depths.’Fantastical Librarian on HELL TO PAY

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An earlier version of this post erroneously stated that Amazon UK was offering the series as a Kindle Daily Deal. It is, in fact, Amazon US and Canada. Apologies for the mistake.

Lavie Tidhar’s THE VIOLENT CENTURY Coming to the US!


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We are very happy to report that Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press have acquired US publication rights for Lavie Tidhar‘s superb, critically-acclaimed latest novel, THE VIOLENT CENTURY. North American rights for the novel were acquired by Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher Peter Wolverton, from Hodder Books who acquired World Rights last year. The novel is due to be published in the US in hardcover, on February 24th, 2015. The new artwork is above.

In case you’ve somehow managed to miss this novel, here is the synopsis…

They’d never meant to be heroes.

For seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart.

But there must always be an account… and the past has a habit of catching up to the present.

Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism, – a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields – to answer one last, impossible question:

What makes a hero?

THE VIOLENT CENTURY has also been widely praised by critics and authors. Here’s just a small selection of those glowing reviews…

‘A brilliantly etched phantasmagoric reconfiguring of that most sizzling of eras – the twilight 20th…  This book has it all:  time travel, political intrigue, hellacious history…  You’ve got superheroes in the guise of regular humans, you’ve got World War II … THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a torrid tour de force!’ — James Ellroy

THE VIOLENT CENTURY… may be his best yet: a blistering alt-historical retelling of a 20th century lousy with superheroes.’ — The Guardian, Best SFF of 2013

‘Vintage Lavie, and also I think his most fully accomplished novel yet. Nobody rides that fast-rolling wave separating schlocky pulp and serious literary sensibilities so deftly as Tidhar. He manages to make serious points about the benighted twentieth-century and its obsession with ‘supermen’ without ever letting the narrative slacken or the adventure pale. If Nietzche had written an X-Men storyline whilst high on mescaline, it might have read something like THE VIOLENT CENTURY.’ — Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass

‘[A] high stakes tale of friendship and what it ultimately means to truly be a hero… Tidhar has created a book that oozes excellence in both characterisation and storytelling.’ — Huffington Post

‘THE VIOLENT CENTURY is an amazing book and as my first introduction to Lavie Tidhar’s writing I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Although I was first hesitant about the stylistic literary affectation he’s chosen to write with, once it became familiar, it felt right and each element of the writing, world and characters complemented each other wonderfully. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone.’ — J For Jetpack

THE VIOLENT CENTURY is an excellent novel that demonstrates, once again, the impressive versatility of its author.’ — Interzone

Cover Reveal: BENEATH LONDON by James P. Blaylock


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Above you will see the brilliant, eye-catching cover for James P. Blaylock‘s BENEATH LONDON! The novel, the fourth in the author’s Langdon St. Ives steampunk series, is due to be published by Titan Books in May 2015.

We don’t have a full synopsis for the novel just yet, but we’ll be sure to share it with you as soon as we do, and again closer to the book’s publication. In the mean time, here are just some of the things fellow authors and reviewers have said about the series…

‘… the fastest, funniest, and most colorful and grotesquely horrifying novel that could ever be written about Victorian London.’ — Tim Powers on HOMUNCULUS

‘Blaylock is a true one-of-a-kind original.’ — Neil Gaiman

‘St. Ives has to be one of the most fleshed out Victorian characters ever written, and I’m sincerely hoping that Blaylock isn’t finished with this scientist adventurer. THE AYLESFORD SKULL can easily stand alone without any knowledge of Blaylock’s previous steampunk stories, but you’ll want to hunt down additional St. Ives tales, I’m for certain.’ — Wired.com

‘This is steampunk at full power and it’s a heady, thrilling read as a result. Packed with high adventure, mad science and derring do, THE AYLESFORD SKULL is a perfect place to start the Langdon St Ives books and, with Titan re-releasing the other books in the series, there’s plenty to keep you and St Ives busy. Which is, I suspect, just how he likes it.’ — SFX.co.uk

‘Nerve-wrenching, deeply moving, and sparked with comic touches… brilliantly achieved.’ — Locus (1992) on LORD KELVIN’S MACHINE

‘St. Ives’s journey through time is very well handled, at once playful and thoughtful’  —  Publishers Weekly on LORD KELVIN’S MACHINE

We think you’ll agree that this will look fantastic on your bookshelves alongside the other Titan editions…

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Series Spotlight: Michael Cobley’s SHADOWKINGS


cobley-headshotMichael Cobley is perhaps best known for his expansive space opera series, Humanity’s Fire, published in both the UK and US by Orbit Books. The fourth title set in the same universe, ANCESTRAL MACHINES, is due to be published later this year, also by Orbit.

However, before his science fiction series became such a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, he was also a pioneer of Grimdark fantasy: his debut trilogy, Shadowkings, was first published between 2001-5, by Earthlight. Certainly, he was dabbling in the darker, grittier fantasy arena before it gained such prominence and popularity, and doing it very well, too – Jon Courtenay-Grimwood described the series, in his review for the Guardian, as ‘brutal, cruel and realistic in a way genre usually avoids.’ It was also described as unconventional high fantasy’, but this was before the rise of grimdark. Continue reading “Series Spotlight: Michael Cobley’s SHADOWKINGS”

Early Praise for Samit Basu’s RESISTANCE!


Basu-T2-ResistanceUK-BlogRESISTANCE, the much-anticipated sequel to Samit Basu‘s super-hero novel TURBULENCE will be published this summer. This means, of course, that we’re starting to see some great early praise for the book. Most recently, we’re very happy to see that, after he ‘begged’ a copy from Titan Books, author Nick Harkaway was particularly impressed with the novel! Here’s some of what he had to say…

‘I really enjoyed Samit Basu’s Turbulence – because it was just a terrifically enjoyable new angle on the superhero actioner. It’s centred on Asia rather than North America, and the difference permeates everything in the story and straightforwardly makes the book(s) infinitely more interesting. Basu has a great sense of pop culture cool mediated by a nicely ironic awareness of ubiquitous human frailty and our lack of self-knowledge… [RESISTANCE is] every bit as zinging… the scene is set for exactly the kind of heroics and unravellings you’d hope for. Fresh, exciting heroics with a serious spine. What’s not to like?’

TURBULENCE is out now in the UK and US. RESISTANCE is due to be published in July 2014! Here’s the synopsis…

Eleven years after the passengers of flight BA142 from London to Delhi developed extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires, the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and some just want to smash up iconic monuments and get on TV. But now someone is hunting down supers, killing heroes and villains both, and it’s up to the Unit to stop them…

Trailer and Advance Praise for Charlaine Harris’s MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD


Charlaine Harris‘s new novel MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD is due to be published in the UK next week by Gollancz, who produced the above trailer to mark the occasion. The novel is published in the US by Ace Books.

HarrisC-MT1-MidnightCrossroad-BlogThe novel is the first in a new series from the author of the mega-popular and successful Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood urban fantasy series. Along with that trailer, MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD has received some great advance praise…

‘A gently paced mystery with a supernatural slant, populated by endearing, varied and well-constructed characters… Definitely recommend.’  —  Civilian Reader

‘I enjoy this kind of story, a mystery/crime/thriller/urban fantasy novel, there is something for everyone here and enough loose ends to keep you intrigued to find out what could happen next. If you have read anything by Charlaine Harris I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t read anything by Charlaine Harris, then MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD might be the book to get you started.’  —  Fantasy Book Review

MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD is a strong opener of the new series and often feels like a love letter from Charlaine to her faithful readers. This gentle mystery shows an author confident in her writing and perhaps heralds the arrival of the best stage of her work – one where she writes primarily because of the sheer love for writing. An excellent read.’  —  Upcoming4.Me

‘I can see many nights being lost to the wonder of Midnight. 4/5’  —  Backwards Compatible

‘A slow burning novel which successfully juggles setting the scene for an ongoing series with a self-contained story. 7/10’  —  SciFi Bulletin

‘Fans might be sad to say good-bye to Sookie, but they’ll be so intrigued by the denizens of Midnight they won’t have time to mourn.’  —  A Knife & A Quill

MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD is another compelling book by Charlaine Harris. I love her storytelling style and the wonderful characters she creates.’  —  Following the Nerd

‘I was blown away by Midnight Crossroad. It’s a wholly immersive, stunningly written adventure that I couldn’t put down. The characters are spot on and unforgettable, the plot is exciting – the only negative thing is that I have to (very impatiently) wait for book two!!!’  —  Carly Bennett

‘The inclusion of a mystery that starts simply and then winds out of control so that no one can be trusted makes this is a blast to read. Everyone is your friend in Midnight, but you don’t know everything about anyone. I can’t wait for Midnight to come again. Overall grade: A’  —  SciFi Pulse

In one additional piece of news, Audible UK are currently running a fantastic promotion for the whole of Charlaine’s mega-successful Sookie Stackhouse series! The audiobooks are just £4.99 each. This offer will end at 10am on May 2nd.

Zeno represents Charlaine Harris in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Publication Day – Tanya Huff’s THE HEART OF VALOUR (UK)


HuffT-C3-HeartOfValourUK-BlogToday, Titan Books publishes Tanya Huff‘s third Confederation novel, THE HEART OF VALOUR! This is the first time the novel has been published in the UK, and we’re delighted that Titan are bringing them all to these shores. Here is the synopsis…

Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr was a Confederation Marine’s marine. She’d survived more deadly encounters-and kept more of her officers and enlistees alive-than anyone in the Corps, and she was determined to keep that record intact. But since her last mission, she’d been sidelined into endless briefings and debriefings with no end in sight. So, of course, she’d jumped at the chance to go to Crucible-the Marine Corps training planet-as a temporary aide to Major Svensson. The major had been reduced to little more than a brain and a spinal cord in his last combat, and he and his doctor were anxious to field-test his newly regrown body. It should have been an easy twenty-day run. After all, Crucible was only set up to simulate battle situations so that recruits could be trained safely. But they were barely on-planet when someone started blasting the training scenarios to smithereens. Suddenly, Kerr found herself not only responsible for the major and his doctor but caught in a desperate fight to keep a platoon of Marine recruits alive until someone could discover what was happening on Crucible.

THE HEART OF VALOUR follows VALOUR’S CHOICE and THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR. Two more books in the series, and a number of Huff’s other titles, are due to be published by Titan in 2014.

Here’s what critics have said about the series in the past…

‘Fast-paced. The intriguing and well-designed aliens and intricate plotting keep the reader guessing.’  —  Publishers Weekly on THE HEART OF VALOUR

‘The notable Tanya Huff proves herself equally adept at military science fiction as contemporary fantasy in her riveting new novel… A writer of great versatility, Ms. Huff captures the ambiance of an elite military group and adds a rare depth to skillful characterization to make each personality stand up and be counted. Dont miss this one…’  —  RT Book Reviews on VALOUR’S CHOICE

‘Huff’s characerization and knowledge of military subculture bring the book to a suspense-filled and rousing finale once again allowing Torin Kerr to shine in her role as the touch, resourceful and supremely competent leader.’  —  Locus on THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR

Zeno represents Tanya Huff in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Cory Doctorow on Ian McDonald’s OUT ON BLUE SIX (and more…)


McDonaldI-OutOnBlueSix-Blog‘For ten years, I’ve been singing the praises of OUT ON BLUE SIX, Ian McDonald’s 1989 science fiction novel that defies description and beggars the imagination… as you’ll read, this book is one of those once-in-a-generation, brain-melting flashes of brilliance that makes you fall in love with a writer’s work forever.’

… So wrote Cory Doctorow, recently, about Ian McDonald‘s OUT ON BLUE SIX, a novel that has as much impact today as it did when it was first published in 1989. Here’s the synopsis…

In a far-future city where happiness and stability are law, a group of rebels will fight for what it means to be human.

The Compassionate Society was designed as a utopia, where people’s genetic predispositions and aptitudes—rather than random choice—guide their lives, and pain of any kind is illegal. In the self-contained city, happiness is the most cherished value, and the Ministry of Pain swiftly prosecutes anyone who interferes with the contentment of another. For many of its citizens—who were matched to their jobs, spouses, and friends—the Compassionate Society is perfect. But to Courtney Hall, a political cartoonist, it is a place of stifling mediocrity. When her satirical work makes her a target of the government, Courtney goes on the run, only to discover an entire underground network of dissidents, each fighting against the stagnation imposed by the Compassionate Society—a struggle that could stand as humanity’s last chance for growth, innovation, and ultimately, survival.

Thrilling and inventive, Out on Blue Six is Ian McDonald’s engrossing story of free will and self-determination, and of the true value of a life ruled not by fear, but by hope.

As Doctorow points out in his post, the novel has been out of print for a long while, but has just been re-issued by Open Road Media in eBook format. Doctorow was asked to write the introduction to the new edition (you can read that introduction if you follow the link, above).

Open Road Media has also published eBook editions of SCISSORS CUT PAPER WRAP STONE, SACRIFICE OF FOOLS, KING OF MORNING QUEEN OF DAY and THE BROKEN LAND.

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In related eBook news, the JABberwocky eBook program will be releasing more of Ian’s backlist titles over the course of 2014, including: CHAGA, KIRINYA, TENDELEO’S STORY, DESOLATION ROAD, ARES EXPRESS and EMPIRE DREAMS.

John McHugo Transmission Award


SalonLondonTransmissionPrizeLogoWe are delighted to announce that John McHugo has been nominated for the 2014 Transmission Prize! The prize, launched in 2013 by Salon London, is designed to ‘celebrate inspired ideas, brilliantly communicated’.

John is nominated for his work related to his most recent book, A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE ARABS (published by Saqi Books), and a little bit more on that can be found here.

Many congratulations indeed to John! A very well-deserved nomination.

Here is the synopsis for John’s book…

The key to understanding the Arab world – today and in the future – lies in unlocking its past.

John McHugo unfolds centuries of political, social and intellectual development, from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. Taking the reader beyond the headlines, McHugo presents a series of turning points in Arab history: the mission of the Prophet Muhammad, the expansion of Islam, the conflicts of the medieval and modern ages, the struggles against foreign domination, the rise of Islamism, and the end of the rule of dictators.

Accessible and penetrating, this concise history reveals how the Arab world has come to assume its present form and illuminates the choices that lie ahead in the wake of the Arab Spring.

McHugo-ConciseHistoryOfArabs-BlogHere’s some of what critics have said about the book…

‘Highly readable … Ideal for novices, it is also a useful and exciting read for those who have read much about the area but never had the whole story summed up in a single volume.’  —  Jordan Times

‘Thrilling and poignant, woven with a layered texture of knowledge and empathy that deftly stitches familiar figures into the narrative in a fresh way.’ —  David Gardner, International Affairs Editor, Financial Times

‘… for those who wish to know the background behind the news headlines, the book is a good—if somewhat demanding—place to start; and for those who at some point had some background in parts of subject, the book acts as a useful refresher.’  —  Asian Review of Books

‘… always erudite…’  —  The National

‘… provide[s] substantial help in understanding the political developments in the Middle East, including the Arab Spring.’  —  The Tablet

Speaking of John’s work, we thought you might also be interested in his article from last year, about coffee and How a drink for Arab mystics went global. If, like us, you are a committed drinker of coffee, this is a great read.

 

Samit Basu’s TURBULENCE Now Available in Audio!


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We’re delighted to report that Samit Basu‘s critically-acclaimed super-hero novel TURBULENCE is available in audio book! Released by Audible, the audio book is available worldwide in English.

In case you’ve missed our earlier coverage of TURBULENCE – and its upcoming sequel, RESISTANCE – here is the synopsis…

Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn’t have the right connections, but then he gets off a plane from London to Delhi and discovers that he has turned into a communications demigod. Indeed, everyone on Aman’s flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires. Vir, an Air Force pilot, can now fly. Uzma, an aspiring Bollywood actress, now possesses infinite charisma. And then there’s Jai, an indestructible one-man army with a good old-fashioned goal: to rule the world!

Aman wants to ensure that their new powers aren’t wasted on costumed crime-fighting, celebrity endorsements, or reality television. He wants to heal the planet, but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others. Will it all end, as 80 years of superhero fiction suggest, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest?

Turbulence features the 21st-century Indian subcontinent in all its insane glory: F-16s, Bollywood, radical religious parties, nuclear plants, cricket, terrorists, luxury resorts, crazy TV shows, but it is essentially about two very human questions: How would you feel if you actually got what you wanted? And what would you do if you could really change the world?

And, in case that wasn’t enough, here is just a small fraction of what has been said about TURBULENCE by critics the world over…

‘… I finished reading with that rare sense of loss you get when you finish a book you never really wanted to end… it involves superpowers, politics, the limits of human responsibility and is fast paced, deep, crisply written, full of vim, vigour, wit, wisdom and zest. Plus it’s really, really funny… You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll gasp and you will demand a sequel!’  —  Ben Aaronovitch

‘Turbulence has it all… Solid writing, great character development, humor, personal loss, and excellent points to ponder in every chapter.’  —  Wired

‘The characters are brilliantly written… With a globe-trotting sensibility even James Bond would be proud of, the cinematic action sequences are as breath-taking as anything Hollywood has to offer, so the campaign for a big-screen version, or failing that, at least a sequel to the book begins here!’  —  IGN

‘Basu blends tongue-in-cheek humor with philosophical questions about what obligations (if any) people would have if suddenly blessed with super powers… The book is a treasure trove of funny moments and one-liners.’  —  The Los Angeles Beat

‘Basu knows his stuff… he conjures up a vast array of imaginative powers… unflinchingly depicts the costly consequences…’  —  SFX

TURBULENCE is an excellent book, a thoughtful read that throws out questions without any easy answers, that opens up the superhero genre to deeper analysis, and yet is also an incredibly enjoyable superhero story itself.’  —  Fantasy Faction

TURBULENCE is out now in the UK and US, published by Titan Books. RESISTANCE is due to follow in July 2014.

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