- - August 8th, 2011
LEVIATHAN WAKES (UK | US | ANZ), the explosive space-opera from James S. A. Corey, received some huge praise before it was even released. In the words of genre heavyweight, George R. R. Martin:
It’s been too long since we’ve had a really kickass space opera. LEVIATHAN WAKES is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written, the kind of SF that made me fall in love with the genre way back when, seasoned with a dollop of horror and a dash of noir. Jimmy Corey writes with the energy of a brash newcomer and the polish of a seasoned pro.
High praise indeed, yet much more was to follow. The critical reaction to LEVIATHAN WAKES, two months on from release, has been stunning.
Here’s what readers have been saying about the first novel in a series that promises to become a classic of science fiction.
‘LEVIATHAN WAKES is an amazing book. In fact, there is not a single negative thing I can say about the novel, which delivers in all phases including setting, characterization, story, pacing, prose, and from a purely entertainment standpoint. Simply put, LEVIATHAN WAKES is the best novel I’ve read in 2011—so far—and arguably the best thing Daniel Abraham has ever written, while introducing a remarkable new talent in Ty Franck’ – FANTASY BOOK CRITIC
‘The world building, hands down, is some of the best that I’ve seen for a space opera novel, with a good cast of characters and story that go along with it . . . This novel feels like a breath of fresh air, trading in the galaxy for our solar system, but retaining an sense of the epic’ - SF SIGNAL
‘If you love tales packed with worldbuildy details like how humans cored asteroids, pumped them full of atmosphere, and spun them up for gravity’s sake, then you’ll love this novel to pieces’ - i09
‘LEVIATHAN WAKES is space opera for the masses—it asks for little from its readers other than that they show up and enjoy the ride, no doctorate in quantum mechanics necessary. The classic juxtaposition of Miller’s hard-edged noir narrative and Holden’s idealistic adventure are perfectly suited for one another and together they form the most enjoyable novel I’ve read so far in 2011. It’s fast, it’s fun and it’s escapist science fiction in the purest sense of the term. One can only hope that The Expanse is expansive, indeed’ – A DRIBBLE OF INK
‘One of the best opening volumes to an SF series in recent memory, one of the most entertaining novels I’ve read in 2011 and a novel that only has me hungry for more in the series. This is a Space Opera I want to see more of on the shelves’ – SFF WORLD
‘A ridiculously entertaining space opera . . . A relentless, page-turning novel with some great character-building’ – THE WERTZONE
‘So far as cinematic sci-fi goes, LEVIATHAN WAKES is as entertaining and summer-blockbuster as you can get with a 600 page book’ – BOOK SMUGGLERS
‘LEVIATHAN WAKES has it all and I defy you to come away from this book empty handed when I’m talking about things like the death of a battle cruiser, alien infestations on a space station and gunfights in seedy space port hotels . . . If you read one science fiction novel this year I’d seriously consider making it this one. Essential space opera reading that bodes very well for future books in the series’ – GRAEME’S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW
‘This new science fiction series begins with an incredible story, complex and well-executed. With an intriguing storyline, vivid characters, and even vomiting zombies, this was highly enjoyable from start to finish. Blending suspense, horror, space opera, and mystery – this first installment is one no science fiction fan will want to miss’ – SCIFI CHICK
‘If you’re looking for some Space Opera Noir SF goodness, then read this one, people. It’s sure to please. It certainly did good things for me’ – ELITIST BOOK REVIEWS
‘LEVIATHAN WAKES is a big novel full of movie worthy space battles, hand-to-hand combat, near death experiences, a couple of love stories, and a big bad evil to be fought and conquered . . . Approachable, easy-to-read, and entertaining’ – GRASPING FOR THE WIND
If you’re still somehow unconvinced, you can check out a free excerpt here. There are also wallpapers of the fabulous artwork available here. Finally, author James S. A. Corey talks about some of the ideas behind LEVIATHAN WAKES here.
The second book in the Expanse series, CALIBAN’S WAR, is due for release in June 2012.
- - August 1st, 2011
Two years ago, in the fall of 2009, I received a submission for the book that would eventually become Germline. At the time, it was more a series of linked novellas than a novel, but immediately I knew there was something there. The writing was incredibly raw, utterly riveting, and simply exciting. This was military science fiction– there were super soldiers, futuristic weaponry, powered armor– but not like I’d ever seen it before. The emotional depth to the characters was incredible and their experiences were genuinely harrowing. That first read through reminded me more of accounts from actual soldiers and journalists embedded in the field than the standard action-movie fare. This was The Hurt Locker, and Jarhead, and Restrepo… just with super soldiers, flachette rifles, and powered armor.
Now, Germline is finally here in its finished form. The first of three novels, each telling the story of this future war through the eyes of a different combatant: a journalist on the front lines, a genetically engineered soldier, and a man tasked with hunting down escaped genetics.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - July 28th, 2011
We’ve been counting the days until we can unleash Jim Butcher’s Ghost Story (UK | ANZ) onto the world – and publication day is at last upon us. And you can catch the first four chapters here before you rush out, waving your arms around, to get the new book!
We also have some great GIVEAWAYS, in the shape of five signed hardback cover proofs and five A3 print-outs of front cover artwork. Full terms/conditions plus pictures of the great stuff itself are here and to enter just fill in the small form below this post and click submit. And it’s for UK residents only! Lastly, if you didn’t catch the great mini interview with Jim Butcher on Harry Dresden, plus rereads of the entire series, these are here.
Early reviews have been rightfully amazing too, and we couldn’t agree more …
The Dresden Files defines all odds by getting better and better … If you love Urban Fantasy drop everything to catch up now. There is no other UF series that comes close”
“Ghost Story is a wonderful addition to the Dresden Files series … one of the most consistently well-written urban fantasy series in existence”
“This stunning, exciting series entry with its heart-stopping action will shock and thrill”
‘Fans will be gratified … plot twists and high-stakes combat with an assortment of supernatural beings”
cforms contact form by delicious:days
- - July 7th, 2011
I feel like announcing this with some kind of roar or perhaps a drum roll as I’ve been waiting for this for so long and today is actually LAUNCH DAY! But as we’re open plan and I’m highly unmusical I’ll let this do the job …
Charles Stross’s Rule 34 (UK | ANZ) is many amazing things. It’s a fast-paced Edinburgh-based crime novel set a few years into the future. It also displays lashings of Charles Stross’s wry humour and I enjoyed more than a few winces and chuckle-out-loud moments. Another aspect I really enjoyed was Stross’s extrapolation of our current technology, where our usual gadgets have been moved on a step or three. The BBC’s Click technology programme covered augmented reality just last month, but in Rule 34 it’s a useful, fully-fledged reality.
But perhaps most importantly, I found myself completely caught up in the colourful characters (a detective inspector, a young scalleywag called Anwar and a master criminal showing signs of psychosis known as the Toymaker). There’s not the space here to revel in the bizarre crimes DI Liz Kavanaugh has to investigate (domestic appliances in unlikely places …), or talk about the highly suspicious Eastern European bread-mix young Anwar is peddling. But you can sample for yourselves by reading this plot summary or by enjoying chapter one here. Read the rest of this entry »
- - May 18th, 2011
Theories of Flight, Book 2 in Simon Morden’s explosive Metrozone series is now at large worldwide.
Prepare for more explosions. Prepare for more smart-ass foul-mouthing from Petrovitch. And prepare for more from the New Machine Jihad.
And just in case you’ve been wondering what people have been saying about the series . . .
‘A fast-paced thriller . . . an absorbing read’ TELEGRAPH
‘Speeds along with energetic panache’ THE TIMES
‘Morden keeps up a breathless breakneck pace that doesn’t sacrifice character depth or intelligence . . . promises to be a fast-paced thrill ride for the cynical urban space cowboy in all of us’ i09
‘Petrovitch is one of those characters you can’t help but warm to, and readers will be eager to experience more of his adventures and his relentless Russian swearing’ FINANCIAL TIMES
‘The action is relentless and Morden has a natural talent for a plot that keeps the reader guessing’ GUARDIAN
‘A fantastic piece of work – a roller-coaster ride through a post-plague hit London that made me think of Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon colliding head on with Gibson’s Neuromancer, whilst side-swiping Stephenson’s Snowcrash. I absolutely loved it!’ SFREVU
‘A heart-stopping onslaught of science and action for much of its perfectly judged duration, paced like a runaway train, and Morden handles the fireworks with a steady hand . . . truly exhilarating stuff’ THE SPECULATIVE SCOTSMAN
Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t have as much time for reading as I used to, these days. Day jobs and deadlines aren’t exactly conducive to being well-read, even though the folks at Orbit keep me nicely supplied whenever I do my periodic “Hi guys how’s the kids here’s a manuscript by the way any new books OK don’t mind if I do mooch a few” visits to their HQ in midtown. But despite my disconnection from the new/hot/now book scene, there are a few books and series for which I will stop, drop everything, and read myself blind. One such series is Kate Griffin’s Matthew Swift novels, of which the third, The Neon Court, is out now.
Whenever I try to browbeat others into reading these books, I’ve been using “the Dresden Files if written by Neil Gaiman” as my pitch — but frankly that’s doing a disservice to the Dresden Files, Gaiman, and Griffin all at once. The setup is similar to that of the Dresden books on the surface: each book chronicles the adventures of a much put-upon modern magician just trying to go about his life in an urban setting. The urban setting in this case is London rather than Chicago, and the magician in question is not a wizard, but an urban sorcerer. There are wizards too in Griffin’s world, note — and warlocks, and prophets, and the kinds of magic users who can’t be described because they don’t fit neatly into any recognizable paradigm. But amid this wildly diverse set of magically-gifted (and sometimes -cursed) people, urban sorcerers stand out because their power comes, to put it simply, from their love of city life. Urban sorcerers can’t sit still during rush hour. They feel its surge and ebb in their blood, far more powerfully than any natural rhythms. They talk to pigeons, weave spells out of the fine print on subway tickets, read portents in graffiti. And though their ancestors include druids and shamans and all the natural magic users made famous by history and fantasy, these days they become powerless in the green boondocks beyond a city’s exurbs. The life they need, to thrive, is of a grittier, wilder sort. Read the rest of this entry »
- - March 1st, 2011
It’s great to see that others share our extremely high opinion of K. J. Parker’s The Hammer (UK I US I ANZ) which has been getting some fantastic reviews below. K. J. tells a mean tale of justice, betrayal and how far a man will go for his cause. Gritty, tense, fabulously written and you can see for yourselves in our free extract.
Or take a look at what these people of good taste have to say …
This fantasy is less about wizards (of which there are none) and more about morality, family and notions of justice and duty … the small size of the stage makes the enormity of Gignomai’s actions all the more powerful’ SFX
“As a big fan of the author’s work, I had the highest expectations for The Hammer … it was as good as I expected and it’s an early candidate for my best of 2011″ SFFWorld.com
“The dark humor and superb style of the author are on display continually through the novel, while the twists, turns, jaw dropping moments characteristic of a K. J. Parker novel materialize often” FantasyBookCritic blog
“A story with guts, glory and above all else a principle character facing not only personal dilemmas but also overcoming the odds to succeed … definitely beautifully written” The Falcata Times blog
“The Hammer is vintage Parker – a fascination with, and a central role for, made objects like swords and guns, a revenge plot carried out with clear-eyed viciousness … in a book steeped in moral ambiguity and the complex thought processes of realistic, not fantastical, characters” Bookgeeks.co.uk
- - February 18th, 2011
There is a fizzingly funny, cosmically comic new Tom Holt book available now! This is the UK paperback edition of Blonde Bombshell (UK | US), a heart-warming tale of Armageddon, and you can get a free extract. Looks like reviewers prefer blondes too, as we’ve had a huge amount of praise for this bombshell:
A pacy romp with some beautifully executed set pieces’ Guardian
‘A comic SF caper reminiscent of Terry Pratchett’ Independent on Sunday
‘One of the most ludicrously funny intergalactic shaggy dog stories ever told’
‘From a very clever author, with some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments’
News of the World
‘A nifty comic read, fizzing with one-liners … enjoyably deranged’ SFX
‘Exceptionally well-written’ SciFi Now
You can also play our highly addictive ‘Blondesweeper’ game. A little healthy competition on the scoreboard would be good for our in-house champions … make them work for their glory!
- - February 4th, 2011
The winner of an extraordinary five of 2010′s major international SF awards, and named by Time Magazine as one of the top ten novels of the year, The Windup Girl has garnered Paolo Bacigalupi incredible critical acclaim since UK publication in December:
‘The Windup Girl embodies what SF does best of all: it remakes reality in compelling, absorbing and thought-provoking ways, and it lives on vividly in the mind’ – Guardian
‘Vigorous and compelling… the action scenes, related in taut, breathless prose, can be stunning. Tremendous entertainment’ – Independent on Sunday
‘Pitch-perfect writing… It’s science-fiction as warnings of the future, as social commentary, and as just bloody good storytelling… SF at its very best’ – SFX
‘Deserves all of the critical adulation already heaped upon it… one of the finest SF books we’ve read’ – SciFi Now
‘One of the best debut novels of recent years’ – Salon Futura
‘Bacigalupi is a worthy successor to William Gibson: this is cyberpunk without computers’ – Time Magazine
‘Clearly one of the finest science fiction novels of the year’ – Publishers Weekly
‘An exciting story about industrial espionage, civil war, and political struggle, filled with heart-thudding action sequences, sordid sex, and enough technical speculation for two lesser novels’ Cory Doctorow
‘It’s ridiculous how good this book is’ Techland
‘Postmodern Bangkok springs to life in Bacigalupi’s brilliant dystopian tale of culture clash, recalling the best of China Mieville and Neal Stephenson’ Library Journal
- - February 3rd, 2011
Jon Courtenay Grimwood‘s latest novel hits the shelves today, and marks a major change of genre for the critically acclaimed science fiction author. The Fallen Blade is a meticulously researched and extremely compelling fantasy thriller, set in an alternate 15th century Venice – a city in the grip of corrupt politics, a decadent age, and under threat from a mysterious assassin…
So far the consensus is that Jon definitely hasn’t lost his touch, and that this is not your average vampire novel!
‘A fantastic evocation of Renaissance Venice, both the atmosphere and architecture of the city, the beauty of the culture it gave birth to and the merciless, brutally violent and Machiavellian politics that ran alongside it … Grimwood has made [a] fusion of genre energy and literary depth his calling card.’ – Damien G. Walter, Guardian Online
‘Conjures up Venice so vividly you can almost smell it… Impressive, but not nearly so impressive as the way Grimwood draws Tycho, essentially a vampire teenager subject to fierce emotion because he doesn’t even realise yet that he craves blood. He’s a figure both frightening and yet also, at different moments, pitiable and even downright noble… Reinventing the Vampire myth. Never, ever let it be said that Jon Courtenay Grimwood lacks for ambition.’ - Jonathan Wright, SFX
‘Sick to death of vampires? Take heed, because Grimwood’s take on the subject is leagues away from your average fangbanger… The writing is elegant, the dialogue is sharp, the characters economically but well drawn, the action unrelenting, and the story moves – to pardon a phrase – like shit off a shovel… Hits all the right notes.’ - Alastair Reynolds, SciFi Now
‘It’s too early to start dealing in hyperbole about fantasy books of the year, so let’s just say this one is a very good start. It’s a novel you can gorge yourself on; a fast-paced, swashbuckling adventure of the old school, full of fire and brimstone thrills and rich flavours. Yet, unlike many such page-turners, it doesn’t leave a bad aftertaste. Rather, it leaves plenty to ponder… I’d recommend this book to anyone.’ - Sam Jordison, Salon Futura
Signing at Forbidden Planet, London this evening (Thurs 3rd Feb) with Kate Griffin, 6pm
SFX Weekender – various panels and signing, Sat 5th Feb
Discussion event at the London School of Economics with Ken MacLeod, Thurs Sat 17th Feb