Posts Tagged: Ace

KING OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence

King of Thorns

By Mark Lawrence
Pages: 464 pages
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Release Date: 08/02/12
ISBN: 1937007472


Prince of Thorns, Mark Lawrence’s 2011 debut novel, was not well received in all corners, occasionally offending reader sensibilities. Jorg, the protagonist and narrator throughout the series, is a self interested often bloodthirsty teenager who’s ruled equally by his emotions and lack thereof. Those hoping for a redemptive tale, or an ultimately apologetic tone from the author, found themselves woefully bereft. Deeply disturbing, and written with a haunting elegance, I called it the best fantasy debut of 2011.

Jorg, no longer a wandering prince in search of revenge, has taken a throne. Not his father’s or the Empire’s, but it’s a start. The path he carved has made him visible to those who share his lust for power, and now a six nation army marches toward his gates, led by a man far more suited to rule than he. An honorable man would lay down his sword and join the fledgling Empire in peace, leaving his kingdom whole and his people alive. That doesn’t sound like Jorg, does it?
Read More »

Control Point: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Overnight the rules changed… but not for everyone.

Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a paper-cut. But after he develops magical powers, he is torn from everything he knows and thrown onto the front-lines.

Drafted into the Supernatural Operations Corps in a new and dangerous world, Bookbinder finds himself in command of Forward Operating Base Frontier—cut off, surrounded by monsters, and on the brink of being overrun.

Now, he must find the will to lead the people of FOB Frontier out of hell, even if the one hope of salvation lies in teaming up with the man whose own magical powers put the base in such grave danger in the first place—Oscar Britton, public enemy number one…

I still haven’t read Cole’s work, despite hearing great things about it from many readers, but I like this cover, so I wanted to post it anyway. Sure, it’s cheezy and overloaded with testosterone, but it’s great to see Ace Books not shy away from the ethnic diversity in Cole’s novels. Are genre marketing departments finally starting to wake up? Let’s hope so.

Blue Remembered Earth by Alistair Reynolds

Blue Remembered Earth

By Alastair Reynolds
Pages: 512 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: 06/05/12
ISBN: 0441020712


Blue Remembered Earth. Great title, isn’t it? The evocative image of leaving Earth behind, only to remember its color in the blackness of space. It’s an image that resonates on a visceral level. It also perfectly describes the nature of the technological period imagined — the moment when Earth no longer becomes the center of humanity. Vast in scope and dense with character development and world building, Alastair Reynold’s newest novel is a return to Utopian science fiction whose story isn’t about the darker side of humanity, but the boundaries of our collective horizons.

Set one hundred and fifty years in the future, Africa has become the dominant technological and economic power. Crime, war, disease, and poverty have been banished to history courtesy of mandatory implants that curb and/or correct deviant behavior. While humanity has colonized the nearby planets, Earth remains the center of attention with known(ish) physics underpinning the whole operation.

Geoffrey Akinya is heir to the corporate super power that makes much of it possible. He’s also a loner, living on the family estate and conducting experiments on the endangered elephant population that lives there. When his grandmother and company founder, Eunice, dies, Geoffrey’s more entrepreneurial cousins task him to ensure the family’s name remains unblemished after mysterious assets come to light.

Entitled rich kids, a black sheep, an artist, the old guy, and a few insensitive assholes.

It’s really as simple as that. Blue Remembered Earth is a classic quest novel. One clue leads to the next, leads to the next, leads to an eventual big reveal that opens up a host of new possibilities for future novels. Given this standard narrative structure, Reynolds’s novel places a premium on thematic exploration, characterizations, and world building. The degree to which he does it makes the novel a rousing success despite a plot that’s as inventive as hyperdrive.
Read More »

PRINCE OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence

I’m pleased to announce that Stephen Susco, writer of THE GRUDGE, and writer/producer of upcoming films HIGH SCHOOL (June 1st) and THE POSSESSION (Aug 30), has optioned the film and tv rights in Prince of Thorns and the Broken Empire trilogy published by Ace/Berkley in the US and Voyager in the UK.

Great news for Lawrence and fans of The Broken Empire series. I’m always skeptical about announcements like these, because an option being taken on a book series is only the very first, small step in a film or television series being produced, but it’s neat nonetheless. Lawrence’s novel is known for both its nihilistic and brutal world and the dark humour of the protagonist, Jorg, and it will be interesting to see how this transitions to screen, without making audiences squeamish.

If interested, you can read my review of Prince of Thorns from earlier this year.

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops: Control PointThis isn’t a eulogy for my father. The guy’s still around. In fact, every once in a while, he calls me and while I’m happy to hear from him, it takes me 3 hours to get him off the phone. But that’s not the point. The point is, that when my dad finally shuffles off this mortal coil (heaven forestall the day), there is one thing I will always remember about him.

When I was a young boy, dad would sit in the living room or in his study (he smoked a pipe back then, and the smell of pipe smoke still makes me comfortable) and read the New York Times Review of Books. He would disappear behind those venerable pages and emerge with a pronouncement, some minutes or hours later, that such-and-such a book sounded good.

What can I say? Kids are impressionable. Between my father (who, at the time, was the clear earthly authority on absolutely EVERYTHING) and that lauded institution known as the New York Times, if dad read the NYTROB and declared a book good, then it was GOOD, as objectively as anything can ever be considered in a matter of taste.

But, time has rolled on. Dad’s blind in one eye. I don’t trust his driving and he talks too much on the phone. I love him to death, but what is up with those pastel yellow pants? Just as I don’t want to be in a car with him behind the wheel, I don’t necessarily want him recommending me SF/F out of the NYTROB (not that they ever review the stuff anyway). I’m not a big Glenn Reynolds fan, but he was largely right in his Army of Davids. The Internet has diversified and broadened the arena of tastemakers, and I have long since turned to a bevy of blogs (the smaller and more independent, the better) to get advice on what to read next.
Read More »