Monthly Archives: April 2009

Yet another gorgeous cover stolen from the Pyr Blog:

Geosynchron by David Louis Edelman

The Defense and Wellness Council is enmeshed in full-scale civil war between Len Borda and the mysterious Magan Kai Lee. Quell has escaped from prison and is stirring up rebellion in the Islands with the aid of a brash young leader named Josiah. Jara and the apprentices of the Surina/Natch MultiReal Fiefcorp still find themselves fighting off legal attacks from their competitors and from Margaret Surina’s unscrupulous heirs — even though MultiReal has completely vanished.

The quest for the truth will lead to the edges of civilization, from the tumultuous society of the Pacific Islands to the lawless orbital colony of 49th Heaven; and through the deeps of time, from the hidden agenda of the Surina family to the real truth behind the Autonomous Revolt that devastated humanity hundreds of years ago.

Meanwhile, Natch has awakened in a windowless prison with nothing but a haze of memory to clue him in as to how he got there. He’s still receiving strange hallucinatory messages from Margaret Surina and the nature of reality is buckling all around him. When the smoke clears, Natch must make the ultimate decision — whether to save a world that has scorned and discarded him, or to save the only person he has ever loved: himself.

Edelman’s trilogy has been on my radar since the release of the first novel, Infoquake, and I’ve been waiting anxiously for the final volume to be released so I can jump on in. As usual for Edelman’s covers, Geosynchron is graced by another beautiful painting by Stephan Martiniere, who’s quickly becoming one of my favourite SF artists out there.

Nicked from the Pyr blog:

The Silver Skull by Mark Chadbourn

A devilish plot to assassinate the Queen, a Cold War enemy hell-bent on destroying the nation, incredible gadgets, a race against time around the world to stop the ultimate doomsday device…and Elizabethan England’s greatest spy!

Meet Will Swyfte – adventurer, swordsman, rake, swashbuckler, wit, scholar and the greatest of Walsingham’s new band of spies. His exploits against the forces of Philip of Spain have made him a national hero, lauded from Carlisle to Kent. Yet his associates can barely disguise their incredulity – what is the point of a spy whose face and name is known across Europe?

But Swyfte’s public image is a carefully-crafted façade to give the people of England something to believe in, and to allow them to sleep peacefully at night. It deflects attention from his real work – and the true reason why Walsingham’s spy network was established.

A Cold War seethes, and England remains under a state of threat. The forces of Faerie have been preying on humanity for millennia. Responsible for our myths and legends, of gods and fairies, dragons, griffins, devils, imps and every other supernatural menace that has haunted our dreams, this power in the darkness has seen humans as playthings to be tormented, hunted or eradicated.

But now England is fighting back!

Though Chadbourn’s World’s End didn’t click for me, I’m curious about this novel. I first encountered Chadbourn’s work through his short story, Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast (REVIEW), from The Solaris Book of New Fantasy, which features Swyfte and found it quite enjoyable. I’m curious to see if Chadbourn’s prose might not be better suited to this Elizabethan setting rather than the modern(ish) setting of the Age of Misrule novels.

One of my criticisms of the short story was:

I felt the story lacked context and setup, as though I were supposed to know already why Swyfte was so well known around England, how he was so resourceful and why he wasn’t the least bit surprised by the all magick that occurs over the course of the story.

Hopefully The Silver Skull adds some of that context I was looking for.

From 1up.com:

Bethesda has announced The Infernal City, a novel set after the events of Oblivion. The story will be penned by Greg Keyes, who is also known for his work with the Babylon 5 and New Jedi Order books.

“We’ve been big fans of Greg’s work for a long time, and we’re thrilled he agreed to bring his talents to The Elder Scrolls,” said vice president of public relations and marketing Pete Hines. “We see these books as a natural extension of the franchise and think fans will love the stories and characters Greg has created.”

The plot will revolve around a city that appears in the skies above Tamriel and begins raising the dead. As usual, it’ll be up to an “unlikely duo,” in this case Prince Attrebus and a girl named Annaig, to put a stop to it. Looks [sic] for The Infernal City this fall.

I heard rumblings about this a few months ago, but it’s interesting to have it all finally confirmed. Greg Keyes is one of my absolute favourite writers. His Kingdom of Bone and Thorn series is criminally underread and is best described as taking the best parts of Terry Brooks (easy-to-read), Tad Williams (a wonderful, diverse world) and George R.R. Martin (a myriad of characters, multiple plot lines, and political intrigue mixed with magic). Like Tobias Buckell working on a Halo novel (Halo: The Cole Protocol), Keyes name alone is enough to get me interested in this tie-in novel, despite not being very familiar with the Elder Scrolls series.

Not long ago, Tobias Buckell and one of the fellows from Microsoft dropped by A Dribble of Ink to shed some light on the world of tie-in novels. The conversation can be found in the comments section of this post.

Suvudu has an exclusive look at the upcoming novel from Russian author Max Frei, The Stranger, which is garnering a fair bit of early buzz.

The Stranger by Max Frei

A synopsis:

Once a self-described “classic loser” who, if it weren’t for bad luck, wouldn’t have any luck at all, Max is an insomniac who sleeps all day, a night owl in a world of larks, a social outcast and a glutton with nothing to show for himself but empty cigarette packs. At twenty-something, Max is never the early bird and he never gets the worm. Then one day he suddenly finds himself transplanted into an alternate dream universe in the city of Echo, summoned by the chief of the Secret Police. In this world, he is deemed a species of magical secret agent, is made a member of the Department of Absolute Order, and must solve unimaginably extravagant cases with his exceptional new powers. Fate smiles on Max in the city of Echo, where everything that happens to him happens for a reason, and the one-time slacker is known reverently as the “unequalled Sir Max.” As Max learns how to navigate through his bizarre new reality, he takes readers on the journey of a lifetime punctuated by incredible events and a cast of unforgettable characters.

In an additional twist of fantasy, the true author behind the endearing narrator of The Labyrinths of Echo series is revealed in reality as Russian writer Svetlana Martynchik. In the hands of this literary ventriloquist, Max Frei comes alive in the tradition of Sergei Lukyanenko’s internationally bestselling Night Watch trilogy. Similarly sprawling, inventive, and destined for success, The Stranger is soon to become a favorite fixture in bookshelves all over the world.

From Kirkus:

If Harry Potter smoked cigarettes and took a certain matter-of-fact pleasure in administering tough justice, he might like Max Frei, the protagonist of this fantasy novel… Well-written, well-paced grown-up fantasy with a strong dose of reality.

You can find Chapter Four of the novel HERE.

When The Red Wolf Conspiracy was released last year in the UK, early buzz had it pegged as the debut of the year, even the next Patrick Rothfuss. It’s now been released in North America, so it’ll be interesting to see how it fares over on this side of the pacific.

The Imperial Merchant Ship Chathrand is the last of her kind. Six hundred years old, the secrets of her construction long forgotten, the massive vessel dwarfs every other sailing craft in the world. It is a palace with sails, a floating outpost of the Empire of Arqual. And it is on its most vital mission yet: to deliver a young woman whose marriage will seal the peace between Arqual and its mortal enemy, the secretive Mzithrin Empire. But the young woman in question-Thasha, the daughter of the Arquali ambassador-has no intention of going meekly to the altar. For the ship’s true mission is not peace but war-a war that threatens to unleash an ancient, all-consuming evil.

As the dark conspiracy at the heart of the voyage unfurls, Pazel Pathkendle, a lowly tarboy with an uncanny gift, will find himself in an unlikely alliance with Thasha and her protectors: Hercól, a valet who is more than he appears; Dri, the queen of a race of tiny stowaways who have their own plans for the great ship; and Ramachni, a powerful sorcerer from another world. Arrayed against them are the Chathrand’s brutal captain, Nilus Rose; the Emperor’s spymaster and chief assassin, Sandor Ott; and the enigmatic Dr. Chadfallow, a longtime friend to Pazel’s family whose kind words may hide a vicious betrayal.

As the Chathrand navigates treacherous waters to complete its mission, Pazel, Thasha, and their allies-including a singularly heroic rat-must also navigate a treacherous web of intrigue to uncover the secret of the legendary Red Wolf.