Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Bits and Pieces...

If you hadn’t noticed, it’s getting closer to Christmas and time is rapidly running out to do Christmas related stuff as well as all the other things that I really want to get done. Like, you know, reviews and stuff... Today’s planned review has therefore become tomorrow’s planned review instead which leaves today as the day where I share some of the press releases (and other assorted bits and pieces) that have turned up in my email inbox. Hopefully there is something of interest for everyone!

Diary Date: Saturday 15th January 1 – 2pm

Forbidden Planet is pleased to announce a signing by Ben Aaronovitch for his astounding novel Rivers of London at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Saturday 15th January 1 – 2pm.

Meet Peter Grant, probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (aka, The Filth). His only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, he tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead, and that brought him to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now he’s a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard and his world has become somewhat complicated: vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring gods of the Thames, digging up graves in Covent garden… and there's something festering at the heart of the city he loves, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

Ben Aaronovitch was born and raised in London and his work reflects his abiding fascination and love for what he refers to as the 'Capital of the World'. Also the authors of numerous Doctor Who scripts, he works as a bookseller when he’s not writing.
I have the US edition (called ‘Midnight Riot’) and from I’ve read so far, just a quick ‘flick through’ really, this book looks very promising. If you’re there on the 15th then you might very well see me there too...

 Julie Crisp, Editorial Director of Pan Macmillan in London , has concluded a pre-emptive World Rights deal for two epic fantasy novels in a series called THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN by new British author John Gwynne with agent John Jarrold, for a very good five-figure sum.

SO DEEP A MALICE, the first volume in the series, will be published by Tor UK in 2012, followed by its sequel TERROR OF HEAVEN in 2013. 

With one foot in Celtic myth and the other loosely straddling the imagined beginning of the Roman empire, this fresh and original fantasy takes two worlds, old and new, and demonstrates the clash that will occur when the modern tries to overthrow established traditions.

Set on a continent called the Banished Lands, populated by men and giants, dark forests, dreadwolves and draigs; this debut fantasy follows the story of Corban, a young man who just wants to become a warrior, but whose path will lead him to so much more. Populated with original and engaging characters, set in a primal, feral world, soon to become the battleground of angels and demons, this is a tale of love and betrayal, truth and courage, friendship and loyalty. An epic and intimate coming-of-age tale filled with mystery, Machiavellian politics, adventure, joy and tragedy.

Julie Crisp said of the acquisition, ‘This is an incredibly exciting book. It gave me the same feeling when reading it that I had when I first read George R R Martin, Robert Jordan and Patrick Rothfuss. I fell in love with the characters, the world building and the detailed imagining. The beginning of a brand new series, this is a contemporary epic fantasy that I’m sure will gather an enthusiastic and loyal readership and we’re thrilled to be publishing John at Tor UK.’

John Jarrold said: ‘I’m not sure I’ve seen a major fantasy novel that I would recommend more strongly to readers of George R R Martin in the last ten years.  I’ve now read it three times and I am still emotionally involved with the characters and storylines throughout, which is a wonderful achievement for a new writer.  Julie’s enthusiasm was immediate when it was submitted to major publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and she was able to bring her senior colleagues on board with a very strong pre-emptive offer within days.’
Ok, there’s a little while yet to wait for this one but I’m more than intrigued in the meantime (and that’s despite the ominous sounding ‘coming of age’ phrase hidden away where people didn’t think I’d be looking; fantasy worlds are just brimming over with people ‘coming of age’, I really hope that Corban doesn’t have royal blood...). Moorcock’s tales of Corum have left me with a soft spot for Celtic style fantasy so that was all that was needed to get me to pick this one up. I’ll let you know how it goes.
The Free Reading Bit...
It doesn’t happen here all that often but, every now and then, I like to point people in the direction of books that you don’t have to pay for (all on the level though, ‘Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review’ doesn’t condone illegal file sharing or whatever it is tech savvy people call it). First up is ‘Traveller’s Rest’ by James Enge. I’m in and out of ‘This Crooked Way’ at the moment but I would recommend what I’ve read to anyone who fancies a bit of intelligent ‘Sword & Sorcery’ to read. Have a click right Here to get your hands on ‘Traveller’s Rest’, a free title that celebrates Enge’s ‘The Wolf Age’ being the 100th book published by Pyr (congratulations by the way!)
If science fiction is more your thing then Solaris have made Eric Brown’s ‘The Blue Portal’ available for free download. What you have here is a short story which has since become the opening for Brown’s ‘The Kings of Eternity’ (due from Solaris in April 2011). Here’s the blurb for ‘The Kings of Eternity’...

1999, on the threshold of a new millennium, the novelist Daniel Langham lives a reclusive life on an idyllic Greek island, hiding away from humanity and the events of the past. All that changes, however, when he meets artist Caroline Platt and finds himself falling in love. But what is his secret, and what are the horrors that haunt him? 

1935. Writers Jonathon Langham and Edward Vaughan are summoned from London by their editor friend Jasper Carnegie to help investigate strange goings on in Hopton Wood. What they discover there - no less than a strange creature from another world - will change their lives forever. What they become, and their link to the novelist of the future, is the subject of Eric Brown’s most ambitious novel to date. Almost ten years in the writing, The Kings of Eternity is a novel of vast scope and depth, full of the staple tropes of the genre and yet imbued with humanity and characters you’ll come to love.

If you fancy reading more then you can download ‘The Blue Portal’ via ibooks or you can just go and grab yourself a PDF file direct from the Solaris website. There’s a .epub file on the website as well if you want to download that.

That’s all for now, back to trying to get everything sorted before Christmas. Hope the next few days aren't too stressy for you all :o)

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