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Another Rave Review for Matter

There’s a terrific review of Matter over at the Onion’s A.V. Club.

“Kings, princes, evil viziers, treachery, and court intrigue share the stage with galactic civilizations, manufactured hollow worlds, interstellar spies, and terminal technologies in Matter, the triumphant new novel in Iain M. Banks’ loosely connected Culture series.”

Read the whole review here, and be sure to check out the lively discussion in the comments.

The Swoony, The Clinical, and the Baaaad

Walter Jon Williams on sex in novels. (SFW, assuming your work doesn’t object to Nabokov)

Iain M. Banks: Website News and Book Reviews

bankswebsitescreengrab-copy.jpgThe official Iain (M.) Banks website has been re-launched at www.iain-banks.net. Check it out for all the news and reviews, along with some very interesting contests coming up…

Meanwhile, in an interview at io9.com Banks reveals the hidden Thunderbirds influence that runs through the Culture novels:

“Thunderbirds gave me a love of big explosions I’ve yet to shake off. It’s kind of ingrained by now. Almost the first thing I think of when I’ve come up with an idea for a Really Big Artifact is how you could blow the living bijeesus out of it…”

And in the i09 review of Matter, Annalee Newitz sums up her thoughts on the book in the headline: “Iain M. Banks’ New Novel Kicks Ass on a Galactic Scale.”

While at BookPage Gavin Grant writes:

Matter is Banks in top form. His characters—whether human, alien or drone—are spiky, opinionated, diverse, occasionally short-sighted and tragically believable

Matter is available from Orbit in the US and the UK.

Kevin J. Anderson Interview

Fantasy Book Critic has posted an in-depth and engrossing interview with bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson. The interview covers a host of topics, including Kevin’s many collaborative efforts, as well as information about The Ashes of Worlds, the epic conclusion to his Saga of Seven Suns series.

The Ashes of Worlds will be published in the US in July 2008, following the mass market publication of Metal Swarm (book 6 in the series) in June 2008.

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Orbit is thrilled to announce that we have pre-empted a three-book urban fantasy series by debut author Jaye Wells in a six-figure deal with agent Jonathan Lyons of Lyons Literary LLC. The first volume, RED-HEADED STEPCHILD will be published in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

More Great Reviews for Matter

Matter by Iain M BanksIain M. Banks’ new Culture novel, Matter, is getting lots of well-deserved praise from reviewers! Lisa Tuttle reviews Matter in The Times and calls it ‘Unexpectedly savage, emotionally powerful and impossible to forget’.

The latest issue of SFX gives it a 5-star review:

Throughout the book, people are observed covertly or even have concealed weapons trained on them – sound like any place you know? But as always with Banks, this is not preachy, and the author’s trademark wit is everywhere. His wry character observations are a joy to read, and the book has a rich seam of humour. . .this long-awaited return for both a writing legend and his finest creation is a delight.

And Starburst’s February issue says:

Banks can bring across the essence of a character with one sentence where others might hammer things home over the course of a chapter. . .Matter is as engrossing as you’d expect a Banks book to be.

Iain M. Banks has also been recently interviewed in The Times and The Guardian Unlimited. You can get details of his England tour here and read an extract of Matter here.

Debating Face

Debatable Space by Philip Palmer

Debatable Space is on Facebook! Give us a poke here and become a fan of the sci-fi debut of the year, which the Guardian is calling:

So crammed with startling ideas, scintillating prose, incredible aliens and plot twists that it evokes wonder and admiration . . . Palmer has achieved the very difficult feat of presenting big ideas that don’t overshadow the human element. It’s a debut of rare accomplishment.

Don’t have a Facebook account? You can still get all the latest news at Philip Palmer’s website and read an extract here.

Early Buzz for Black Ships

We recently offered copies of Jo Graham’s Black Ships as part of the Librarything early reviewer program, and the reviews are starting to come in!

“I was pleased with the first chapter, but by the end of the fourth chapter, I had to call up my sister (a fellow fan of Mary Renault) and share my excitement over this new author to follow. This book never let me down.” ( reviewed by selkins )

“… I wasn’t sure if it could compare to old favorites like Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia series or Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. Surprisingly, it does—not by slavishly emulating them, but by telling its own story.” (reviewed by Trismegistus)

You can see all the current reviews at Librarything, or visit the Orbit US Catalog.

Black Ships will be in bookstores in March. Read the first chapter here.

The Great Debatable Space Debate

Philip PalmerPhilip Palmer (who is not as malevolent in person as this photo suggests) stopped in at the Book Swede’s blog to talk about Arthur C. Clarke’s famed observation on magic and technology.

Philip’s debut novel just got a great review at Science Fiction Weekly, which observed:

Debatable Space is clearly one of the best first novels to appear in the science-fiction field in recent years, and it marks Philip Palmer as a writer to watch for SF readers seeking innovative, cutting-edge space opera…”

You may have noticed the color difference between the US and UK editions. Is it because American readers respond well to orange? Is it because UK readers like their type to match the glow of their spaceship engines? Honestly, we’re not sure – but the inside is excellent whichever version you get.

Debatable Space UK Debatable Space US

Early Reviews for Matter

Matter by Iain M Banks

We’ve been getting some great advance reviews for Iain M. Banks’ Matter. In this weekend’s Scotland on Sunday, Stuart Kelly says:

If I said this novel was a searing inquiry into justified warfare and the dangers of imposing your ideas of civilisation, told at a rattling pace with breathtaking set pieces and oodles of wit and charm, I’d hope that you’d continue reading and decide, in a few hundred words’ time, to buy the book…

…It’s exhilarating to see what he can do when he goes full-throttle into the form: to my mind, he’s simply the finest and most consistently challenging writer in that genre.

And over at SFFWorld, Mark Yon is saying:

As with any of Iain’s books to date, in Matter he deals with the material with wit and intelligence, as well as his trademark complexity and violence. It does manage to mix genres with aplomb, and there are some pleasingly jarring cultural moments when aliens intermix…I suspect that, despite its release early in the year, this one will be high on many best-of lists by the end of 2008.

We couldn’t agree more! You can read an excerpt of Matter here.

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