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Descent by Ken MacLeod

DESCENT Ken MacLeod

Author of 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated Intrusion tells a science fiction story for the twenty-first century – what happens when conspiracy theorists meet Big Brother?
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THE LASCAR’S DAGGERGlenda Larke

The start of a brand new epic fantasy trilogy from the author of the Stormlord series – full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.
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Category: Reviews

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is here

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for . . . Melanie is here. The superb THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (UK|US|ANZ) is released today in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Do you know Melanie’s secret yet? Get your copy to find out . . .

The incredible reviews for The Girl with all the Gifts by M R Carey

NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.

When they come for her, Sergeant Parks 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 is a very special girl.

Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.

To read the first few chapters for free, visit the Girl with all the Gifts Facebook page.

The astounding reaction to THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

We have been amazed to see the overwhelming outpouring of love The Girl With All the Gifts. It’s not even out yet but it proves this will be the book that everyone will be talking about in 2014.

We wanted to show you a range of the incredible feedback we’ve been getting – from fellow authors, such as John Ajvide Lindqvist, the author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, from booksellers in the UK and from across the world, from people within publishing, and from just about every type of person you can think of. It’s amazing to see how many people this book is wowing well ahead of its publication.

Here is just a small selection of what people have been saying:

 

 

AUTHORS:

 ’A great read that takes hold of you and doesn´t let go’

John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

 ’Brilliant . . . Gripping right to the end’

SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Carole Matthews

 ’Both tender and devastating, a page-turner which kept me guessing up to the very last scene, as well as a meditation on what it means to be human . . . Fantastically enjoyable’

Naomi Alderman, multi-award winning novelist

‘Kazuo Ishiguro meets The Walking Dead – I loved this’

SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Jenny Colgan

 BOOKSELLERS:

‘Thrilling, heart-breaking and clever, this is an end of the world story with a difference . . . I loved this and would recommend it to everyone’ Read the rest of this entry »

LAST TO RISE – the stunning conclusion to the Rojan Dizon novels

Released today is LAST TO RISE, the third and final novel in the Rojan Dizon series by Francis Knight, following FADE TO BLACK and BEFORE THE FALL. The ending to this action fantasy series is intensely powerful and moving.

Things are at breaking point for the towering vertical city of Mahala. It has long been a city plagued by corruption, by the exploitation of the weakest – where the pain of the downtrodden has endlessly paid for the whims and fancies of the privileged elite.

But now things are reaching boiling point – as the city is under siege and Rojan’s desperate efforts to save the city using his forbidden magic are driving him further and further into the depths of madness. Although he’d gladly see this city burn, he will give his all to save those who mean something to him – as they’re all he’s got left.

This quote from Publisher’s Weekly really sums up how magnificent it is:

Knight’s Rojan Dizon trilogy conclusion presses its growing cast of characters into intense moments of loyalty and sacrifice to close with a sharp turn into darker, more rewarding territory . . . With Rojan’s best friend anchoring him to humanity on one side and his exhausting, bloody, agonizing magic driving him closer to insanity on the other, the novel takes on a propulsive, fractured energy that mirrors Rojan and Mahala’s increasingly frantic struggle for survival.

The series, which has grown in complexity since the beginning, reaches a profoundly moving conclusion that is both unexpected and entirely satisfying.

If you haven’t picked up the Rojan Dizon novels yet (starting with FADE TO BLACK) I urge you to give them a go, as it’s one of the most dynamic and readable series around from a very promising new British fantasy talent.

Fade to Black, book 1 in the Rojan Dizon series by Francis Knight, perfect for fans of Scott Lynch and Douglas Hulick Before the Fall, book 2 in the Rojan Dizon series following Fade to Black by Francis Knight, perfect for fans of Scott Lynch and Douglas Hulick

 

The pack goes wild for COLD BLOODED by Amanda Carlson

Some of the characters in Amanda Carlson’s new novel COLD BLOODED ( US | UK | ANZ) may be as cold as they come, but the reviews this new book is getting are hot hot hot!

If you’re into urban fantasy and paranormal romance of any kind but haven’t yet checked out the Jessica McClain novels (which begin with FULL BLOODED (US | UK | ANZ), look below to see what you’re missing! Fans of the likes of Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine, Ilona Andrews and Chloe Neill will love this . . .

‘Cold Blooded starts with a bang and the action keeps coming right up until the final pages. Jess now faces her most perilous journey yet, where the stakes have never been higher. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her next’ VAMPIRE BOOK CLUB

‘I’ve fallen in love with Jessica, and her loyalty to those around her and willingness to do what it takes to keep them safe. I’m thrilled to be following her as she figures out this whole werewolf thing . . . And yes, it is as hot as you were likely expecting it would be.’ ALL THINGS URBAN FANTASY

‘If you haven’t tried this series, I highly recommend it. It is great for people who like strong female leads, werewolves and a lot of action. If you’ve enjoyed Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, The Hollows by Kim Harrison, Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane and Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, then I think you’ll love this book’ HOT LISTENS

‘Cold Blooded was a fun, action-packed book with the right amount of romance, adventure, and twists to keep me firmly planted as part of the Pack’ SHE WOLF READS

‘Cold Blooded is the third book in Amanda Carlson’s Jessica McClain series and this one people is my favorite to date . . . Really cool . . . Red Blooded is up next sometime in 2014 and I can’t wait to read it’ YUMMY MEN AND KICK ASS CHICKS

‘It’s intense action start to finish and I’m ready for more’ HAPPILY EVER AFTER READS

There’s something happening on Twitter . . . it’s ANCILLARY JUSTICE!

Everyone’s talking about ANCILLARY JUSTICE, the brand new space opera from Ann Leckie.

We’ve collected some of the commentary for you here below!

Leckie’s fabulous debut is released 1st October, but the praise is already coming in.

You can preorder your copy today!

 

BLOODFIRE QUEST – Terry Brooks answers your questions

Bloodfire Quest, the second epic fantasy novel in Terry Brooks's Dark Legacy of Shannara series following Wards of FaerieToday we release the paperback of BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK|ANZ) – book two in Terry Brooks’s Dark Legacy of Shannara series following WARDS OF FAERIE (UK|ANZ). It’s a new epic fantasy set in the author’s core Shannara world, and it’s been knocking people’s socks off:

‘Explodes from the first page…the action doesn’t stop until the novel’s cliffhanger ending…Intense and exhilarating…Brooks is one of the best fantasy writers in the business’ ASSOCIATED PRESS

‘[Brooks] brings his distinct talent, giving a true grandeur to clashes involving terrifying creatures and powerful magic’ KIRKUS REVIEWS

‘A thrill ride that will leave readers wanting more…This volume, paired with the first, might be just the right place to introduce new readers to this fine writer’ BOOKLIST

The third book, WITCH WRAITH (UK|ANZ), is released very soon on 16th July.

Back in April, Terry did a very rare signing in the UK for the hardback release of BLOODFIRE QUEST. The queues at Forbidden Planet were phenomenal, and the signing went on for hours! See some pics of the event here.

For those who were unable to make it, we asked readers to send in their questions for this fantasy legend from afar. Now, we release Terry’s answers in the video below:

ps. Is it just me or is Terry awesome? No – the signs say it’s not just me . . .

Why BITTER SEEDS blew me away

Bitter SeedsAs an editor, there’s no better feeling than reading a submission that blinds you with its sheer brilliance. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s one of the most exciting things about working in publishing.

Bitter Seeds was one of those submissions. I’d heard some positive murmurings coming out of the US about Ian Tregillis’s debut novel, but began reading the book with no particular expectations – and was left amazed by its vivid prose, bold action sequences and the wonderful depth of its characterisation. Not to mention the underlying plot that regularly crosses into the realms of sheer genius.

Bitter Seeds – and the other two books in the Milkweed Triptych, The Coldest War and Necessary Evil – have something of the chameleon about them, in that their underlying plots are constantly shifting and evolving. Just when you think you might have figured them out, they’ll change direction and completely shatter your expectations (my jaw dropped so many times when reading this trilogy that I attracted more than one strange look from my fellow commuters).

These novels are also chameleonic (totally a word, I looked it up!) in the sense that they weave so many different elements together to form something unique. At heart, the books are adventure stories – Nazi superhumans battling British warlocks – with a dangerously high dosage of action and espionage. Yet these novels are also subtle and extremely intelligent, weaving plots that shock and delight in equal measure, not to mention packing a serious emotional punch when the stakes are at their highest.

There are a host of complex, memorable characters within the pages of these books, such as Raybould Marsh, who must constantly balance his loyalty to his country with his love for his family, and Will Beauclerk, whose powers may end the war but destroy him in the process. Yet most memorable of all is Gretel, a gypsy orphan who wields a manipulative power so great that life itself is just another pawn in her Grand Design – the ultimate outcome of which only she knows.

One thing is for sure: you’ll certainly never see it coming.

Bitter Seeds [UK | ANZ], The Coldest War [UK | ANZ] and Necessary Evil [UK | ANZ] are all available now in paperback and ebook.

Praise for Ian Tregillis and the Milkweed novels:

A confident and thrilling debut” – SFX

“An imaginative tour de force” – KIRKUS

“[An] astonishing, brilliant, pulse-pounding debut trilogy” – CORY DOCTOROW

“Compelling, fascinating and frighteningly convincing” – FANTASY FACTION

“Ian Tregillis is a major new talent . . . I can’t wait to see more” – GEORGE R. R. MARTIN

                          Coldest War Necessary Evil

Presenting: Matthew Stover’s ACTS OF CAINE novels

One of the most highly regarded fantasy series EVER is finally coming to the UK.

Presenting a gritty action fantasy series like no other. Welcome to the world of Caine: Assassin. Hero. Superstar. . .

Heroes Die, Blade of Tyshalle, Caine Black Knife and Caine's Law - the four novels int he Acts of Caine gritty fantasy series by Matthew Stover - a favourite of Scott Lynch and John Scalzi

Several huge names in the fantasy world have been shouting from the rooftops about the sheer brilliance of this series by New York Times bestselling author Matthew Stover. Par exemple:

SCOTT LYNCH says:

‘Oh, you fortunate people. HEROES DIE and BLADE OF TYSHALLE directly informed the writing of THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA . . . I’d dare say they were what taught me how to craft a novel. Matt is criminally underrated, and these books are bog standard for him, which is to say ‘brilliant.’ They’re bold, startling, multi-layered, humane, and laugh-out-loud wonderful at frequent intervals . . .

. . . A gritty, bloody, deeply touching work of genius’

JOHN SCALZI says:

‘A heaping plate of kickass kickassery with a side of kickass sauce . . .

If you are a fan of the meaty, bloody but smart fantasy of which authors like Joe Abercrombie and Richard K. Morgan currently traffic, you really do owe it to yourself to check out the whole Caine series . . . I doubt very seriously you will be disappointed, and if you are, well, I don’t know what to do with you, except maybe wonder if your brain chemistry is off in some unique and disturbing way. But I’m willing to bet your brain is fine and you’re going to eat this stuff up.

So: fans of  fantasy, this is my recommendation. Get this one. Get them all’

FELICIA DAY says:

‘Talk about a dark anti-hero. Talk about a cool alt-SF/Fantasy world. Talk about some violent assholes who populate BOTH universes. I mean Hari is one of the biggest badasses I’ve read in a LONG time. Seriously flawed, very nihilistic world/WORLDS really he’s involved in. And yet, his journey is so full of emotion, you root for him every step of the way. This is an Alpha male you can get behind. Damn. Hot damn.

Don’t read if you don’t like profanity, unlikeable characters and awesome fight scenes. :D

THIS WAS FANTASTIC! . . . If you like really really gritty, dark fantasy like George RR Martin, Richard Morgan (Takashi Kovaks books) or ESPECIALLY Joe Abercrombie, you should get this book’

Not convinced yet? What’s wrong with you?!

All four books in the Acts of Caine series – HEROES DIE, BLADE OF TYSHALLE, CAINE BLACK KNIFE and CAINE’S LAW – will be released digitally in the UK & ANZ on 27th May 2013.

Pre-order now for a special introductory price on book one, HEROES DIE.

Will X-Men-style superhumans become a reality in our lifetime?

The poster for the new Xmen film The Wolverine 3D coming in 2013 - in an article about genetic technology, superhuman powers and Ian Tregillis's Milkweed novels starting with Bitter Seeds

Poster for The Wolverine 3d film – coming in July 2013

I was interested (and I’ll admit it – a little excited) to read this recent article, stating that advances in gene technology could lead to a race of genetically superior human beings by the year 2045. These were apparently the findings of a Ministry of Defence think tank during a two-day summit last summer.

Alright – so sources such as The Sun and The Daily Mail might have sensationalised the think tank’s statements a touch by claiming that in a few years time, people will have Wolverine-style adamantium claws busting out all over the shop, and will be spontaneously whipping up tornadoes left, right and centre à la Storm.

But although a real-life X-men army might not exactly be right round the corner – the underlying gist of the claim could be entirely reasonable: that we’ll likely soon be using genetic technology to enhance the strength of the human body, to eliminate imperfections and to increase stamina.

But as time goes on, who knows what the limitations will be? Who knows if by genetically developing certain parts of the brain, we’ll discover unknown abilities – telekinesis, psychic powers, control over natural elements? One needs to have an open mind, and it might not happen in 30 years time – but it’s not entirely beyond belief.

Neither are the apparent risks and dangers that certain individuals developing those powers would present.

The MoD think tank also claimed that “it is possible that advances in biology, unequally shared across society, could generate genetic inequality”.

Bitter Seeds, book one in the Milkweed Triptych by Ian Tregillis - in an article discussing the possibility of X-men style superhumans becoming a realityBut it might not just be within one particular society that inequality is a risk. What happens, in fact, if one nation develops superhumans before another? Will it lead to an “arms race” of human augmentation, the winner of which will become the next superpower?

This is the terrifying and thrilling concept behind the Milkweed trilogy by Ian Tregillis. It starts with BITTER SEEDS (UK | ANZ) and THE COLDEST WAR (UK | ANZ), and concludes with NECESSARY EVIL (UK | ANZ – releasing this coming Tuesday). Read the rest of this entry »

Ken MacLeod… A modern-day George Orwell?

If you could fix the world, with just one pill, how far would you go to force society to swallow?

Imagine a near-future London where advances in medical science have led to the development of a single-dose pill which, taken when pregnant, eradicates many common genetic defects from an unborn baby.

When Hope Morrison refuses to take the pill, is this a private matter of individual choice, or wilful neglect of her unborn child?

intrusion frame

‘This near-future sci-fi novel could almost be a sequel to George Orwell’s 1984 – 2084, perhaps’ Sun

‘A disturbingly real socialist dystopia’ Guardian

‘Thoughtful, plausible and scary’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Excellent’ Daily Mail

‘Intrusion is a finely-tuned, in-your-face argument of a novel… MacLeod will push your buttons – and make you think’ SFX

‘The message is powerful and the warning crystal clear’ SciFi Now

‘MacLeod creates a frighteningly plausible dystopia’ Interzone

‘A twistedly clever, frighteningly plausible dystopian glimpse’ Iain M. Banks

‘A haunting, gripping story of resistance, terror, and an all-consuming state that commits its atrocities with the best of intentions’ Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

‘MacLeod certainly delights in raising questions which creatively discomfort his fellow socialists’ Morning Star

‘It’s all so close to the bone it’s almost painful… Intrusion is a rather frightening vision of the road we are taking with our smoking bans and our obesity epidemics and our CCTVs. Particularly if you’re a woman’ Bookbag.co.uk

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